Average intermediary caseload volumes reach record high in Q4, according to IMLA

15 February 2022

  • Average intermediary caseload volumes reached the highest ever recorded level in Q4 2021, according to the latest findings from IMLA’s Mortgage Market Tracker.
  • Intermediary confidence in the outlook for their own firms was also strong, with 62% feeling ‘very confident’ and 98% confident overall.

Mortgage advisers processed more cases in the 12 months to Q4 2021 than at any other point since 2015, according to the latest report from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).

The results from IMLA’s Mortgage Market Tracker show that, on average, the typical intermediary now places 103 cases per year, a 32% increase on the yearly average determined in Q4 2020.
With intermediaries keeping busy in the remaining months of 2021, confidence in the business outlook for their own firms also remained strong. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of intermediaries said they were ‘very confident’ about the outlook for their firm, while 98% were confident overall. Furthermore, confidence in the outlook for the broader intermediary sector stayed at a high level, with 96% either ‘very confident’ or ‘confident’ compared to 97% in Q3 2021.
However, outright confidence in the outlook for the mortgage industry dipped very slightly in Q4 2021, with the proportion of advisers feeling ‘very confident’ decreasing from a record high (46%) in Q3 to 42%.

Conversion rates

The average number of Decisions in Principle (DIPs) that intermediaries processed in Q4 decreased in November (26 per intermediary) but rebounded strongly in December (32 per intermediary). This rise comes alongside homeowners returning to the market, aiming to secure new fixed-rate mortgages before rising inflation and interest rates begin to make products less attractive and affordable.

Across 2021 as a whole, the business mix advisers handled remained broadly consistent, with residential mortgages taking up 65% of all cases throughout the year, Buy-to-Let accounting for 27% of cases, and specialist lending 8%.

Kate Davies, Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, comments

“The Stamp Duty holiday might have come to a close in September last year, but all signs point towards advisers keeping busy in the final months of 2021. The positive findings of our latest report clearly reflect this strong level of activity and the demand that underpins it. As caseload volumes increased to set new records in Q4 2021, despite the months following the conclusion of the Stamp Duty Holiday expected to be quieter compared to 2021 as a whole, advisers have a solid foundation to begin 2022.

“With inflation potentially reaching 7% by April this year, and interest rates continuing to rise, we expect demand to remain strong in the mortgage market as borrowers try to lock into new fixed-rate deals and those with more complex financial situations seek support. Independent financial advice will be crucial for these customers, and advisers will play an important role in helping them to find the most suitable, and affordable, deal.”

IMLA’s Mortgage Market Tracker is powered by the BVA BDRC, a leading research agency.

View IMLA's publications »

For further information please contact:

Tom Stewart-Walvin, Rostrum
Tel: +44 (0)7855 689 302
Email: t.stewart-walvin@rostrum.agecy

Dan Edwards, Rostrum
Tel: +44 (0)7492 062 571
Email: d.edwards@rostrum.agency

Notes to Editors

The IMLA Mortgage Market Tracker uses data from BVA BDRC’s Project Mercury. Findings for Q3, 2021 are based on around 300 interviews with mortgage intermediaries, collected between July, August, and September.

About IMLA

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) is the trade association that represents mortgage lenders who lend to UK consumers and businesses via the broker channel. Its membership of 46 banks, building societies and specialist lenders include 18 of the 20 largest UK mortgage lenders (measured by gross lending) and account for about 90% of mortgage lending (91.6% of balances and 92.8% of gross lending).

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