Broker Confidence Improves as Consumer Confidence Returns

Broker Confidence Improves

New figures suggest that the vast majority of brokers are optimistic about what the next 12 months are going to bring for their businesses. According to the latest data published by Masthaven Bank, more than 90% of brokers are confident about the year ahead.

This represents an increase of 3% from the previous 87% Masthaven reported in its Broker Beat survey.

The survey took into account the views of 186 brokers, among whom 77% predicted an increase in overall sales and revenues for their businesses this year. Furthermore, a full 42% said they expected to achieve double-figure growth over the next 12 months.

Conversely, just 3% said that they expect to see a decline in sales during the same period of time.

An optimistic outlook for the property market

Asked for their views on the immediate outlook for the real estate sector, 88% of the brokers polled said that they were either “confident” or “very confident” about its future. At the end of last year, a significantly lower 71% expressed optimism for the property market’s future prospects.

Masthaven said that the growing optimism among brokers reflects the UK’s gradual return to normality and a general increase in consumer confidence.

Economic uncertainty

Asked about the specific challenges their businesses are currently facing, 26% of brokers cited lingering economic uncertainty as their biggest current cause for concern, though this indicates an improvement since the end of last year.

Lenders’ service levels were also highlighted as a concern by 25% of brokers, while a further 16% said the prospect of future lockdowns represented a threat to their businesses.

A quarter of brokers are concerned about lenders’ service levels, while 16% believe the biggest problem they face is further local or national lockdowns due to COVID-19.

Speaking on behalf of Masthaven, director of intermediaries Rob Barnard paid tribute to the efforts of the sector to help movers and first-time buyers over the course of the past 18 months.

“The industry has worked tirelessly to support homebuyers since the start of the pandemic,” he said.

“This hard work, combined with pent-up demand from early 2020 and government support in the form of the stamp duty holiday, has resulted in a booming property market, but there are still challenges on the horizon.”

“The government’s various COVID support initiatives will be coming to an end soon, with the furlough scheme expected to wind down in September.”

“The withdrawal of this support will undoubtedly be felt by some borrowers.”

Preparing for new challenges to come

Mr. Barnard also emphasised the importance of brokers continuing to work as closely as possible with clients over the coming months, due to the potential for additional challenges to affect prospective borrowers.

“As the market enters this next phase, brokers and lenders alike will need to work together closely to support all customers, but particularly those who have been heavily affected by the pandemic,” he said.

“Innovation and collaboration will be key in ensuring the industry continues to provide products tailored to customers’ needs.”