Business is thriving at Just Mortgages following a post-lockdown mortgage boom.
The mortgage broker, one of the largest in the UK with almost 500 mortgage advisers working on either an employed or self-employed basis, saw applications and approvals hit an all-time high last month.
The company reports that there were 1,750 applications and 1,500 exchanges in September as buyers looked to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.
The number of applications was a 20% increase over August and up 40% compared with September last year.
Just Mortgages says that the largest increase in volume was recorded by its self-employed brokers, although it was also a record month both for Just Mortgages’ estate agency based employed brokers and the remortgage team.
John Phillips, national operations director for Spicerhaart and Just Mortgages, said: “This is a really great time to be a broker. The volume of people looking to move house is higher than anyone may have expected it to be.
“There has been a massive surge in those looking to move, potentially as a result of people really reflecting on what type of property they want to live in after being stuck in their home during lockdown. The housing market has been one of the few bright spots of 2020.”
With networks of contacts, Just Mortgages’ 300 or so self-employed brokers are doing particularly well since lockdown ended in July, according to Phillips.
He added: “It really is a very positive time to be a broker and the desire to be self-employed appears to be higher than ever. We continue to see record numbers of brokers want to join our self-employed arm as it offers the best of both worlds, providing the support of a larger company while allowing the broker to take their business in whatever direction works best for them.”
According to the latest Experian report, which provides data-led analysis of the mortgage market, mortgage applications increased year-on-year by 13% in July, followed by rises of 25% in both August and September.
Experian data suggests 1.2m mortgages will be agreed at a value of £216bn this year, although lending is still likely to be down on last year’s £250bn across 1.5m loans, owed primarily to the pause in the market caused by the lockdown.
Lisa Fretwell, managing director of data services at Experian, commented: “People moving home is good news for the economy, as activity in the property market fuels growth in related services. Tax incentives and an extended period indoors have encouraged people to make a move this summer, as our analysis shows.”
“Most moves require a mortgage and, while lenders want to extend new loans, they have a responsibility to ensure homebuyers are only taking on what they can afford in the long-term.”
“Covid-19 has complicated the financial situation for millions of people, and the challenge for lenders to understand each applicant’s circumstances has become more difficult as a result. Both traditional and new data sources will help lenders to make the highest quality decisions to keep Britain moving.”