The specialist buy-to-let lender has been conducting a panel survey since 1995, which tracks confidence amongst mortgage advisers.
The confidence index for the first quarter of 2014 is at its highest level since the beginning of 2008 at 104.7. There was strong growth in the index throughout the ‘boom’ years but confidence nose-dived in the financial crisis and was very slow to improve however, there have been steady improvements since 2010.
More recently there has been a marked improvement in confidence since the start of 2013 when the index stood at 87.2. Looking back further, confidence peaked during 2007 when the index reached 147.6 and dropped to its lowest level in the third quarter of 2010 at 63.0.
Intermediaries also reported during the first quarter that 21% of their mortgage cases were buy-to-let and 19% were for first-time buyers.
The gap between the number of first-time buyer and buy-to-let cases has started to close during the past 12 months.
John Heron, director of Mortgages, said: “Thanks to this unique long-running survey we can see very clearly how confidence was “knocked for six” during the financial crisis.
“It stayed depressed through to 2011 when things started to improve. We are now seeing a significant improvement in confidence as the market recovers and it will be interesting to see if this is maintained through the implementation of MMR.”