Applications back to pre-lockdown levels, but overall completion ratio is down
Latest analysis of mortgage activity from the MCI Club has shown a significant drop in completions, with only 22% of purchases completing in July, August, and September. This compares starkly to the first quarter of the year when 60% of applied mortgages completed. Re-mortgages, on the other hand, exhibited a stronger completion rate of 64% from July to September. However, this was still 15% down on the figures from January to March.
Nevertheless, the amount of written business has risen consistently through to October and, since coming out of the first lockdown in June, is now back to pre-lockdown levels. Likewise, protection business has continued to grow month on month with October showing the highest number of applications, although the figure is still 17% down compared to the average for January to March.
The data, from MCI and the eKeeper CRM, also showed higher levels of broker and administrator activity over September and October with 26% more diary appointments, 21% more case interactions, and a 45% uplift in users accessing various back-office systems.
Melanie Spencer, head of the MCI Mortgage Club, commented that “It is disheartening that the rate of applications to completions has significantly dropped as, ultimately, there continues to be steady consumer demand across the board post-lockdown. I suspect that the realities of the lending market haven’t truly filtered into the purchase market, which has left mortgage brokers to manage expectations and seek out nimble alternatives. This simply demonstrates the advantage of the broker proposition and their ability to service clients’ circumstances, which may not have been as challenging in 2019.
“We know that brokers are working harder, and this is reflected in back and front-office activity for leads and fulfilment. Certainly, the amount of effort going into every application is increasing and, through good processes, people and technology, many brokers are learning and being supported through their technology, to deliver great client outcomes in challenging times.”