The credit crisis is affecting the global economy in a variety of ways, and is now beginning to affect brokers, according to Alliance & Leicester.
Research carried out by Alliance and Leicester mortgages
showed that 76 per cent of brokers feel their role is becoming more advisory, and 47 per cent of brokers feel they now have to provide clients with more insight and thought than six months ago.
The reasons for this were cited as lower confidence in the housing market (48 per cent), and economic concerns (22 per cent). In the last six months, brokers have spent 29 per cent more time offering advice to potential borrowers. And brokers believe their roles will become increasingly advisory over the next six months.
Despite this, 48 per cent did not believe this was affecting their business financially. Of the 24 per cent of brokers who feel the additional demand for advice has resulted in less immediate business, 64 per cent feel the time spent giving guidance will help to improve long-term relations with clients, which could have a positive impact on future income. Mortgage
director at A&L, Raj Uppal, said: "Borrowers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of making the right mortgage choice and that they can take advantage of brokers' wealth of knowledge to ensure this. Instead of simply using a broker to source products, borrowers are now making the most of their advisory services to learn about affordability and extend their product understanding."
Affordability topped the list of questions presented to brokers, with 55 per cent of them related to pricing. More than a quarter of clients wanted to know about specific products and 24 per cent wanted advice about different mortgage lenders. Other frequent questions included the Bank of England base rate and deposits.
"The high profile news coverage about economic issues, the economy in general and the housing market mean broker's advice and expertise will play an important role in helping their clients find the right product. Mortgages have hit the main news agenda in recent months and this has perhaps led to more people questioning brokers about the different aspects involved in taking on a mortgage," said Mr Uppal.
Customers looking for mortgage advice
can speak to a broker through FairInvestment.co.uk