The total mortgage lending arranged by the LSL group jumped from £21bn to £29bn, the firm has announced in its annual results.
LSL said this growth gives it a total market share of 8 per cent of all mortgage completions.
LSL’s financial services brands include network Primis, formerly trading as formerly trading as First Complete, Pink Home Loans (Advance Mortgage Funding) and Personal Touch Financial Services, mortgage club The Mortgage Alliance (TMA) and Embrace Financial services, an appointed representative of First Complete. Other brands include Linear Financial Solutions, Mortgages First and RSC New Homes, First2Protect insurance services and Mortgage Gym.
The firm declared that when measured by the number of appointed representatives, its overall combined broker networks are the second largest in the UK. In 2018 LSL purchased Personal Touch and RSC New Homes, as well as a 35 per cent stake in online broker Mortgage Gym.
LSL’s income from its financial services division grew from £74.4m to £87.4m, a growth of 17 per cent, making it the firm’s strongest performer by a distance. By comparison, residential sales income dropped from £76.6m to £69.9m, while lettings income grew only marginally from £73.9m to £76.6m.
On surveying, revenues grew by 9 per cent to £69.8m, with operating profits up 8 per cent to £20.4m.
Overall the firm’s total income increased by 3 per cent to £254.8m, while its underlying operating profit dropped by 24 per cent to reach £20.6m.
Last month LSL announced plans to close 124 estate agency branches in a company restructure.
Ian Crabb, group chief executive officer of LSL, said that market conditions in 2019 have been “notably softer” than the same period in 2018, and that as a result the firm’s financial performance so far “has been marginally behind the Board’s expectations”.
Crabb added that the board expects to see a “material reduction” in the number of house purchase transactions compared to 2018, though he emphasised that mortgage costs remain low on historic terms, while availability is good.
“The medium to longer term fundamentals of the UK housing market remain solid,” he added.