Consumer sentiment lags behind buoyant market, according to Precise Mortgages

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Confidence has returned to the mortgage market, heralded by media and industry alike, yet new research* from Precise Mortgages, the specialist lender, highlights that consumer sentiment is still playing catch up.

The Mortgage Voice report surveyed 2,200 consumers – homeowners, renters and buy to let landlords - to better understand the market and consumer views on its direction of travel.

Almost half (46%) of respondents think that the mortgage market is in poor health and repairing slowly with access and availability of mortgages for aspiring homeowners the apparent root cause for pessimistic sentiment; six in ten (62%) respondents who aspire to own a home want to buy within the next five years, yet many worry about the barriers they face. Key amongst these findings is the ability to save a large enough deposit (62%).

There are several other particular areas of consumer concern asking for industry response. While three in ten (29%) consumers believe that access to mortgages has broadly improved they don’t believe that this is enough. More than half (53%) of respondents feel that the market continues to favour those with large deposits and two in five (39%) say mortgages are too difficult to obtain for first time buyers.

There is also a strong sense that the current mortgage market needs to adapt to keep pace with consumer need. A fifth (20%) of respondents feel that mortgages are too difficult to access for the self-employed or freelancers while a further fifth (19%) argued that the mortgage market doesn’t cater well enough to those with blemishes in their credit history.

When it comes to improving the mortgage market, research respondents identified improving rates and access as well as considering lending criteria and eligibility on an individual basis as paramount. While Government initiatives such as Help to Buy have brought a boost for some, almost a quarter (22%) say they have very little knowledge of it, while one in ten (11%) believe it is not enough and other innovations are needed to drive market growth.

Alan Cleary, Managing Director of Precise Mortgages, said: “The research presents an interesting conundrum – on the one hand confidence has returned and this is being rightly celebrated across the industry but there appears to be a delay in this buoyancy filtering down to the consumer. Ultimately, the market is there to serve them and yet many of them feel unserved by lenders and concerned that access to the market is denied to them. We have a significant role to play in combating the feeling that mortgages are difficult to obtain, that lenders continue to favour large deposits and are unforgiving of those with credit blemishes or alternative employment histories, perhaps freelance or self-employed.”

“There are specialist lenders in the market designed to meet this challenge but there is still more to be done across the wider industry to innovate products and ensure they respond to contemporary consumer need. Ensuring that all viable homeowners have access to mortgage products should be the aim of lenders across the board, both to meet homeowning aspirations and continue to grow the recovering British economy.”

The research forms the basis of the Mortgage Voice report which looks at consumer attitudes towards, and understanding of, the mortgage market. In particular, what are the major barriers to mortgage lending and how do consumers – aspiring homeowners and buy to let landlords – feel about the market and where it is heading. It is available to download here:

For further information visit

*Research was carried out by Watermelon Research (a Chime Plc company). The fieldwork was carried out between 05/02/14 and 19/02/14 via an online survey. The sample was made up of 200 landlords and a representative sample of 2000 consumers (18 – 65+).


About Precise Mortgages

Specialist, robust and credible, that’s the Precise Mortgages way:
Our mission is to broaden the criteria for mortgage approval to support home owning aspirations and buy to let entrepreneurialism. Our award winning, technology driven underwriting and credit risk management processes mean we can be more expansive in our mortgage approvals – serving those unserved by mainstream lenders.

It is for that very reason that we established our Precise Mortgages brand in 2010. Free of the legacy of poor decisions made pre-financial crisis, Precise Mortgages delivers innovative products for residential home loans, buy to let, bridging loans and second charge loans through a nationwide intermediary base. This is driven by an experienced and expert management team.

Precise Mortgages is a trading division of Charter Court Financial Services Limited authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under number 494549.

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Rhys Phillips

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