Affordability remains key query for brokers in Q4 2022 – PRIMIS

PRIMIS Mortgage Network has revealed that the network’s product desk helped appointed representative (AR) advisers with 7,642 queries in Q4 2022, up 1,576 from Q4 2021. The total number of queries answered for 2022 was 31,342.

Broker queries covered topics including affordability issues and product transfers, with emphasis placed on improving user experience

The product desk saw a large proportion of queries relating to mortgage affordability, including looking at financing options and ways to stretch income.

Considering the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, coupled with higher mortgage rates following last year’s mini-Budget announcement, it’s not surprising that affordability remains front and centre for brokers.

The end of the Help-to-Buy scheme may have also contributed to this trend, as first-time buyers explore their options for financing. Despite this, there is still considerable appetite to lend as the market stabilises, and there are a range of products available to those with less traditional financial circumstances.

The product desk also saw an increase in the number of queries with regards to product transfers, particularly as those with fixed rate mortgage deals came to an end and were faced with higher rates.

There has also been an increase in queries regarding when lenders permit changes, as buyers who fixed onto rates following the mini-budget may have sought advice on transferring onto more favourable deals.

With the ONS predicting that 353,000 fixed rate mortgages will need to be renewed in Q1 2023, brokers should take extra care to familiarise themselves with the product landscape in order to signpost the best deals for those looking to transfer products. To assist this process, the product desk has made it easier for brokers to evaluate on: product transfer switch time frames; mortgage offer validity; and when customers can change a product, if the rate reduces after the mortgage offer.

Advice for homebuyers remained ever-crucial during Q4, with brokers facing increased pressures to provide specific and tailored advice to consumers experiencing a myriad of economic headwinds.

In order to streamline the advice journey, the product desk redesigned the lending process with user experience in mind, as a growing number of lenders continued to join the PRIMIS panel.

Vikki Jefferies (pictured), proposition director at PRIMIS, said: “Q4’s impressive figures highlight the ongoing success of the product desk, as we remain committed to assisting brokers with a variety of mortgage queries.

“With the cost of living continuing to put pressures on affordability, along with high inflation levels, these statistics show that advisers have a vital role in providing valuable resources to clients, tailored to their individual financial circumstances.

“Brokers looking to stay abreast of new product and regulatory developments should look to mortgage networks, in order to gain access to all the options and support to meet their clients’ needs. We at PRIMIS look forward to continuing to provide our invaluable support to our intermediary partners throughout the duration of 2023.”

The product desk support works in harmony with PRIMIS’ ‘Virtual Experts’ page, which features vodcasts, blogs and newsletters on key industry issues to provide brokers with on-demand information and guidance.