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Mortgage accessibility reaches three-year high


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Almost a third (30%) of mortgage brokers had no problems sourcing a mortgage for any client type in the second half of 2016, according to a new survey.

Research by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) also revealed that this figure was up on the 26% recorded for the first half of 2016 and double the rate for the first half of 2015 (15%).

Brokers are now encountering fewer difficulties when sourcing mortgages for clients than at any point since the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) in April 2014.

The rate of brokers unable to source a mortgage for first-time buyers almost halved from 29% in the first half of 2016 to 16% in the second half of the year.

Buy-to-let was the only client type in which the rate of brokers unable to source a mortgage increased: a figure of 33% was recorded in July 2016, compared with 34% in February 2017.

The statistics for the last two years are:

 

Feb 2015

Jul 2015

Feb 2016

Jul 2016

Feb 2017

Standard status borrowers

23%

25%

22%

26%

15%

Near-prime borrowers

26%

22%

21%

28%

18%

Adverse credit borrowers

54%

49%

46%

54%

46%

Self-employed borrowers/borrowers with irregular incomes

46%

47%

40%

50%

25%

‘Lending into retirement’ borrowers

50%

51%

43%

43%

29%

Interest-only borrowers

54%

51%

39%

52%

31%

First-time buyers

21%

20%

21%

29%

16%

Buy-to-let borrowers

N/A

22%

22%

33%

34%

No problem for any client in the last six months

16%

15%

26%

26%

30%

 

Table 1: proportion of brokers unable to source a mortgage for different clients in preceding six months.

Peter Williams, IMLA’s executive director, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see a greater number of brokers are reporting that they are successfully arranging mortgages for a wide variety of clients.

“Over the past few years, regulations like the [MMR] have raised the bar in terms of borrowers’ requirements, which some predicted would leave many borrowers locked out of the market.

“This new regulatory regime has made the intermediary channel more important than ever, and brokers are clearly doing a great job of helping people get a foot on the housing ladder.

“House prices have been growing faster than incomes over the past few years, which has challenged affordability.

“This issue has been particularly acute among first-time buyers, which means the fact that just 16% of brokers reported they were unable to source a mortgage for someone in this group over the six months is very positive news.

“Low mortgage rates have continued to support borrowers’ affordability by reducing monthly payments."





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