Homemovers have just registered the highest success rate for turning mortgage applications into completions.
Some 80% of homemover applications led to an offer and 80% of offers resulted in a completed deal, according to the latest Mortgage Market Tracker from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).
The tracker – using data from BDRC Continental - shows intermediaries dealt with an average of 49 new enquiries during the first three months of 2016.
Overall, 55% of enquiries progressed to an agreement in principle, with remortgages and specialist loans at 59%. First-time buyer applications saw the fewest initial enquiries progressing further at just 51%.
IMLA said this was due to a number of factors including affordability constraints, and aspiring buyers making initial enquiries or exploring their options.
Both 2014 and 2015 saw relatively slow first-time buyer activity at the start of the year, before picking up speed.
IMLA’s data therefore highlights the potential for further growth in first-time buyer activity, with loans via intermediaries already up 15% year-on-year.
Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, said: “Using an intermediary has become ever more established as the most common way to access mortgage finance in the UK.
“After a busy start to the year, this data suggests that homemovers, in particular, have taken advantage of strong competition between lenders and a fast-expanding range of competitive products.
“The first-time buyer market typically picks up pace in Q2, although April’s stamp duty reforms have clearly disrupted normal patterns and will have a lingering effect on the supply of property.
“Credit conditions are just one of many factors impacting first-time buyers’ journey from enquiry to completion, and the EU referendum adds another unknown into the mix.”