First-time buyers are increasingly turning to mortgage intermediaries to help them find the best mortgage deal, according to a new study from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
Its figures show that the proportion of first-time buyer mortgages
taken out through a mortgage intermediary has risen almost 10 per cent to 82.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2008 compared with 72.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2007.
The study also shows that intermediaries are being used more by those looking to remortgage
their homes. The proportion rose more than 10 per cent year-on-year for remortgaging, from 68.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2007 to 79.1 per cent in 2008.
Director of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, Richard Farr, said: "Mortgage intermediaries are playing a vital role in the current market place as first-time buyers struggle to find a mortgage deal
. The CML figures demonstrate the demand for advice from consumers, and the ability of intermediaries to find a good deal even during difficult times.
"Consumers clearly value the advice they receive from mortgage brokers. It is important for government, regulators and the industry to recognise the value of intermediaries to consumers.
"Intermediaries are able to identify the most suitable product for the consumer at a competitive price and analysis of consumer attitudes show they value this advice much higher than that provided by the lenders. In these difficult times it is more important than ever for consumers to access good advice."
The Government has also pledged support for first-time buyers. The Prime Minister said yesterday in the draft Queen's speech that the Government would contribute £300 million to help boost the housing and mortgage market in order to give struggling first-time buyers a helping hand.
It will also extend its Homebuy initiative with an additional £100 million in funding. Homebuy is a shared equity scheme allowing those who cannot afford to buy a whole property to buy a share in a home. The CML has backed the Government's increased support for the initiative, which will help to bring greater equality to low earners looking to get on the property ladder.