One in five TMA brokers think gross lending will hit over £251bn

More than 80% of mortgage brokers have predicted a rise in borrowing compared to official forecasts, with gross mortgage lending set to be stronger than anticipated in 2024, TMA Club has found.

In 2023, gross lending fell by 28% to £226bn as borrowers tightened their belts as a result of rising living costs, according to UK Finance.

The lender trade body has forecast a further fall this year, taking gross lending down to £215bn.

Despite this, brokers are more confident of a recovery.

TMA polled advisers at a recent event and found that 20% believe gross lending in 2024 will be over £251bn, with a further 60% thinking it will fall between £220bn and £250bn.

Development director at TMA, Lisa Martin, said: "Inflation fears are receding faster than the Bank of England had been expecting and the latest indications from the governor Andrew Bailey suggest we may see a base rate cut later in the year.

"That shift in the first three months of this year has boosted borrower confidence and advisers are seeing more engagement.

"There are still affordability pressures but lenders are definitely pricing to take market share and that’s keeping activity up."

The study also found that brokers were underwhelmed by the Spring Budget, with 95% of those polled by TMA confirming that nothing announced would ease borrower affordability, with those set to remortgage this year still facing the same affordability challenges.

Stronger lending is likely to come from the purchase side of the market, they said.

This comes as Zoopla reported that property sales increased by 15% year-on-year in February. Buyer demand is also up by 11% annually and there are 21% more homes for sale in the same period.

Martin added: "There is evidence that the housing market is back on track and brokers are seeing a rise in the number of clients looking to purchase, while remortgage activity remains steady."

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