Mortgage Brain saw more European Standardised Information Sheets (ESIS) generated through its sourcing systems in July than any other month so far in 2020.

Per working day, the ESIS numbers for July were slightly below the peak seen in February, but taken as a whole July has been the most productive month of the year to date.

On a weekly basis, ESIS volumes grew last week by 0.2%, leaving them 1.7% above those seen pre-pandemic; this is the second straight week in which ESIS volumes have been above those before COVID-19 reached the UK.

Mark Lofthouse, CEO Mortgage Brain -

Mortgage Brain: ESIS volumes surpass pre-pandemic levels

The increase in ESIS has been driven by strong demand from purchasers, with residential purchase ESIS having been around 10% higher than pre-pandemic levels for six consecutive weeks.

With buy-to-let, purchase ESIS have been around 7% above the average volumes seen before COVID-19 for nine weeks in a row.

Lending at the highest loan-to-values (LTVs) is holding steady, with ESIS volumes for cases at 80% to 85% LTV have remaining at around 9% higher than pre-COVID levels for seven consecutive weeks.

They now account for almost a quarter (22.5%) of all ESIS produced.

Overall product numbers, however, have fallen for four consecutive weeks, dropping 1.3% last week to stand at 8,857.

They are now down by 39.6% on the nine-week average to 16 March, but are up by 19.3% on the lowest point seen during the crisis.

Mark Lofthouse (pictured), CEO at Mortgage Brain, said: “It is little short of extraordinary that we have seen such a bumper July.

“ESIS volumes have been trending healthily upwards for some time, a clear demonstration of just how strong demand to buy is from both owner occupiers and property investors.

“This is traditionally a quieter time for the market, so it will be interesting to see if this momentum is maintained over the summer.

“Product numbers remain a concern, however.

“While they have dropped by only modest amounts over the last four weeks, the fact is that brokers and their clients now have 4.4% fewer deals to choose from than a month ago, and almost 40% fewer than in the days before the pandemic.”