Remortgages lead the way in January

Mortgage Solutions

The year is well under way and January already seems like a distant memory.

As seems to be the case every year, the first week of the New Year tends to be quite slow as consumers shake of their festive hangovers and then suddenly things explode into life once everybody is back at work.

Consumers then seem to go online in their droves and the national desire to sort out all things financial sweeps across the country, resulting in lead volumes going through the roof.

For most of the year, lead suppliers work off the principle that a pretty steady percentage of consumers coming to their websites will turn into leads for various products and services.

However, in January, without much extra marketing effort, lead form conversions rise sharply impacting upon lead volumes and prices. This effect usually lasts for the first couple of months of the year.

In our own market place, we have seen over 30,000 online mortgage enquiries alone in January, with about two-thirds of these being consumers looking for remortgage leads.

The next biggest category is first-time buyers and then homemovers, with buy-to-let enquiries bringing up the rear with fewer than 5% of total mortgage leads.

The year is well under way and January already seems like a distant memory.

Although, on the whole, the oversupply results in some downward pressure in prices, advisers are still paying premium prices for the more filtered leads, such as low LTV customers with clean credit histories.

Looking in more detail at remortgage leads, which is by far the biggest category, there are some interesting changes in the types of consumers looking for advice in January compared to December.

Looking at average LTVs across the market, the average in December 2010 was 55% LTV, but this fell to less than 50% in January 2011.

Things have also improved for mortgage advisers in terms of loan values as well. In December, the average loan value was just over £140,000, but in January this rose quite sharply to around £157,000.

One thing that hasn’t seemed to change much over the last couple of months is the credit profiles of consumers looking for remortgage advice. In December, 80% of all remortgage enquiries were from prime customers and this fell by just one percentage point to 79% in January.

Finally, taking a quick glance at geographical lead distribution, the top three postcodes in December were Birmingham, Bournemouth and Portsmouth. Birmingham made the top spot again in January, with Glasgow and Reading following up in places two and three.

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