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Mortgages to remain &#39buoyant&#39

Financial professionals&#39 confidence in the mortgage market has slipped slightly but remains at its second-highest level in nearly eight years, according to a survey commissioned by Paragon Mortgages.

The latest Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking index stands at 131.3 for the third quarter of 2002, down marginally from 135.5 for the spring quarter but still higher than it was between 1995 and the beginning of this year.

The index results found that the average number of mortgages arranged through financial advisers fell by 4 per cent in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter alth-ough this quarter&#39s figure remains the second highest figure in the past eight years and is 13 per cent higher than a year ago and 26 per cent higher than two years ago.

The research shows the prime purpose of remortgaging remains getting a better deal and accounts for 38 per cent of remortgages. Home improvements were responsible for 24 per cent of remortgages while 17 per cent of remortgages were to finance a second property.

In the buy-to-let mortgage market, 39 per cent of the mortgages arranged were for investors making a first buy-to-let acquisition while 35 per cent were extending their portfolios. Remortgaging in the buy-to-let sector grew to 19 per cent of all remortgages in the third quarter of 2002, up from 16 per cent the previous quarter.

Managing director John Heron says: “The very strong growth experienced in the market for the past year may be tailing away a little. However, the relatively small increase in the confidence index over the last quarter, with reasonable expectations for the rest of the year, suggests that the mortgage market will stay buoyant for the foreseeable future.”

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