Computer says yes! Home buyers finding it easier to access mortgages

Mortgage brokers are finding it easier to source home loans for all types of buyers, a survey suggests.

Research by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), which may have an interest in pushing the strength of the broker sector, found that 30% of advisers reported no problem sourcing finance for their client in the second half of 2016.

This was up from 26% in the first six months of 2016, and the highest rate since tougher application rules were introduced under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) in 2014.

Brokers also reported an uptick in successfully sourcing mortgages for a variety of different groups of borrowers. The number of brokers who said they were unable to source a mortgage for first-time buyers fell from 29% in the first half of 2016 to 16% in the second half of the year, while the proportion who were unable to source a mortgage for standard status borrowers also fell from 26% to 15% over the same period.

Additionally, the rate of brokers who were unable to secure a mortgage for borrowers who were self-employed or had irregular incomes fell from 50% in the first half of 2016 to 25% in the second half, while the rate for those unable to source mortgages for interest-only borrowers fell from 52% to 31%.

There was also a substantial fall in the rate of brokers who were unable to source a mortgage for borrowers looking for mortgages lasting into retirement, which fell from 43% in the first half of the year to 29%.

Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, said: “It is 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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