Stonebridge, the national mortgage and insurance network, has announced strong mortgage application and completion growth through 2021 and into 2022 at its recent national conference.

At the Conference, held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on the 21st March, Stonebridge’s Business Partnerships Director, Jo Carrasco, revealed its network sales results, which during 2021 saw mortgage application numbers up 19% on the year previously, and the volume of lending via applications up 24%.

55% of applications were for purchases, up from 48%, with 15% of all applications being for buy-to-let and 20% for product transfer.

In 2022, year-to-date application lending volume is up by 26% with February being a record month for the network, with £1.35 billion of mortgage applications being submitted.

In terms of mortgage completions, 2021 saw the volume of lending up 33% on 2020, while the completed case numbers increased by 27%. In 2022 so far, year-to-date lending volume completions are up by 28%, with £1 billion of lending completed in February this year alone.

Stonebridge also said 2021 was another strong year for the other core parts of its business – protection and general insurance (GI).

In the protection sector, application value in commission terms was up by 27% on 2021, with completion value up by 36%. For GI, the application value in commission terms was up by 29% on the previous year, and completion value was up by 38%.

Stonebridge also announced the business had doubled in size over the course of the last five years, with the number of advisers within the network continuing to rise. It currently stands at almost 1,000 RIs.

The network said its continued growth had allowed it to increase staffing levels, particularly for its business development team which supports its member firms, and in terms of both business standards and the developer team within Revolution, its wholly-owned trading platform.

Rob Clifford, Chief Executive of Stonebridge, commented:

“Despite all the upheaval of the pandemic, 2021 was a very strong year for the overall mortgage market, fuelled by a growing demand to purchase and invest in home renovations. Our figures for last year, and already in 2022, show this strong consumer demand is being maintained and while purchase activity may not reach the heights of last year, we are seeing growth in remortgage business, especially in light of recent increases to Bank Base Rate and consumers’ interest in grabbing an attractive rate.

“Successful businesses in this sector tend to need scale, and we’ve been able to grow our adviser base significantly which has in turn allowed us to add considerable resource to support member firms. We are always looking at ways and means to support the growth ambitions of our ARs and our conference was built around how we empower their success through valued relationships, allowing them to make the most of the opportunities that exist and to be safe and secure within Stonebridge.

“There are clearly a large number of ongoing factors that will shape 2022’s housing market, many beyond our control, however consumers continue to choose professional, impartial advice from trusted professionals, and therefore we believe – with our support – advisers will continue to be in demand and, by making the most of those opportunities, should therefore have plenty of business to occupy them throughout the year and beyond.”

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