The number of UK mortgage brokers appears on the increase with the new figures from the FCA indicating that the number of firms advising on mortgages has increased. At the peak of the market in January 2006 3,533 primary mortgage firms were registered with the Regulator and this declined to 1,394 in March 2012.
The total number of FCA directly authorised firms holding mortgage permissions (adding those with Investments or Insurance as their main permission) peaked at 7,174 in December 2007, before the mortgage market imploded. The number of these firms then declined gradually until the numbers bottomed in March 2011, at 5007. Since then numbers have risen in the two succeeding quarters, to 5,055 in September 2012.
The number of appointed representatives like London Mortgage Brokers Capital Fortune has also risen. The figures for authorised reps of authorised firms peaked in December 2007 at 5,123 with numbers declining gradually over the following 4 years, to 2,383 in March 2012.
We have now seen the first rise in numbers in the latest quarter to 2,434 as at the end of September 2012.
The rise of new entrants into the market may be partly due to the increase in gross mortgage lending by building societies and other mutual lenders who have increased their presence in the mortgage market. Lending by mutual was £3.0 billion in October, up by 29% compared to the same month last year. Mutuals took a 24% market share of gross lending in October, up from 19% in October 2011.
Gross lending in the first ten months of the year was £25.6 billion, up from £19.1 billion in the same period last year. Net mortgage lending (gross lending minus repayments) by mutuals was £0.7 billion in October and £5.6 billion in the first ten months of the year which accounts for 86% of total net lending in the UK over this period. Mutuals approved 25,000 loans in October, which is up 24% compared to the 20,100 in October last year.
Commenting, Adrian Coles, Director-General of the Building Societies Association, said: "The lending figures seen are further evidence that building societies and other mutuals are lending more to those looking to buy a home. Mutuals have accounted for 86% of all net lending in the UK in the year to October, which significantly outperforms other financial institutions. Around one in three loans made by mutuals are to first-time buyers."