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Confidence in housing market near 1997 peak

Intermediaries&#39 confidence in the mortgage market reached its highest level in the first quarter of this year since its peak in 1997, says specialist lender Paragon Mortgages.

The Paragon financial adviser confidence tracking index gives a rating of 121.7 for the first three months of 2002, up from an all-time low of 99 in the same period of 2000 and only slightly below the 123.9 peak five years ago. Paragon says this upward trend is set to continue into the spring quarter.

The Fact index shows intermediaries introduced an average of 26 mortgages each during the first quarter of 2001 compared with 23 last year and 20 two years ago. This is a reverse on the trend between 1997 to 2000 when a declining number of mortgages were placed through advisers.

Managing director John Heron says: “The Paragon Fact index is proving to be a consistently accurate forecast of trends in the mortgage market as a whole. It has been especially interesting to watch the trend towards more business being placed through financial advisers since 2000. This suggests a public that is confident but likes to take full advantage of professional advice.”

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