Overall, the rate of mortgage applications resulting in completions came up to 69% during the first quarter of this year, an increase from the 49% during the previous quarter.
The tracker report published by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders’ Association (IMLA) also shows that 67% of first-time mortgage application received approval, a significant increase from from the 48% during the same period in 2016.
The quarterly report follows the journey of a mortgage applicant through the intermediary channel from initial enquiry through to completion for first time buyers, home movers and buy-to-let borrowers among others.
The tracker also revealed that – despite housing affordability still being extremely low – prospective first-time buyers are making more enquiries and applications than twelve months ago.
The rate of first-time buyers applying and resulting in completion has been steadily growing over the last year. In Q2 and Q3 of 2016 about 49% of first-time buyer applications through intermediaries were completed, a number that increased to 53% during last year’s Q4.
Peter Williams, IMLA executive director, commented: “First time buyers’ struggles have been highly publicised, with affordability stretched by rising house prices and modest income growth. However, rising levels of mortgage enquiries, applications and completions shows that a significant number of first time buyers are still both willing and able to get a foot on the property ladder.”
“Low mortgage rates have contributed to this improving outlook for first time mortgage borrowers. However, with the Bank of England reporting that average rates are creeping up on the higher loan to value (LTV) products that buyers with modest deposits rely on, policymakers must continue to do their upmost to support lending to this part of the market.”
Overall, the wider intermediary market appears to be improving with the rate of mortgage applications resulting in completions across the intermediary channel reaching 69% during the first three months of 2017.