More than twice as many principals, advisers and administrators are concerned about the impact of a second coronavirus lockdown than about Brexit, according to research by the MCI mortgage club.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) indicated they felt a fresh lockdown would affect the mortgage market over the next 12 months, compared to 35% who pointed to Brexit as a factor.

Other significant influences included stricter lender criteria (68%), mass unemployment (67%), and recession (63%).

alice watson canada life

Canada Life: Lockdown has changed equity release customer behaviours

In addition, 62% highlighted the adverse effect of payment holidays, furlough, and business support loans.

Only 3% responded that there would be no change over the next twelve months.

Principals and senior directors indicated growth away from standard residential purchases into protection and buy-to-let (BTL) (both 37.5%), as well as residential remortgages and equity release (both 35%).

94% responded that they were confident regarding their business or employment over the next 12 months; this rose to 97.5% for principals or senior directors.

Melanie Spencer (pictured), head of the MCI Club, said: “Understandably, as restrictions are eased over the country, everyone serving the market will rightly consider a second lockdown to be a disastrous event, especially as the market is beginning to gain momentum again.

“With the stamp duty cut until next year, the conditions are right for a sustainable bounce-back.

“Of course, it is surprising that Brexit didn’t rank as highly, or more specifically, an appropriate trade agreement by the end of the year.

“It could be that we’re on course for more economic disruption, just of a different kind.

“That said, it is refreshing to see the levels of confidence our respondents had, and that good proportions are looking to expand and diversify their business through protection, BTL and equity release.

“Adaptability is key, and whether this is technology to support your business, expanding your proposition through specialist and later-life lending panels, or alternative routes into the protection world, the MCI Club is providing those services to keep its member firms buoyant over the next twelve months.”