This week we took a look back over the year, as featured in an article on Mortgage Solutions; it has been a strong year for both new entrants to the lending market and for existing mortgage brokerage firms.
It has been a great year for businesses bringing something new to the market. Of particular note are digital challenger Atom Bank, who has responded to the growing demand for digital lending by launching a range of mortgage products, and Axis Bank, who has expanded its lending criteria which has enhanced our ability to source finance for our clients, regardless of their circumstance.
Furthermore, and despite widespread reports of doom in the property market and many political talking points, brokerage firms like ours are also ending the year on a high. Even though Prime Central London is largely regarded as one of the biggest losers – thanks to punitive stamp duty on first and now second homes – we have had a great year. Enness has grown from a team of 30 to almost 50, with a growing client services team and two new offices, including one in Monaco. This is a reflection of the continued demand from people buying property, and growing demand from foreign national and expat clients.
There has been much talk in the press about the attack on the buy to let sector, which we, of course, agree with. Changes to stamp duty, reduced tax relief and now the ban on agent letting fees for tenants and landlords, have all contributed to the market becoming less attractive to enter. We should be encouraging this type of tenure, not discouraging it, and this year has acted as a deterrent.
Additionally, and as has been widely reported, it has been an excellent year for borrowers. Record low interest rates have made it a great time to take out a loan but, for the same reason, it hasn’t been such a good year for savers.
Finally, it has been a buoyant year for the bridging finance market and our specialist bridging finance team. Despite events such as Brexit and the implementation of the Mortgage Credit Directive presenting challenges, we are continuing to see growth. We are also seeing a lot of creativity, especially from the smaller lenders – short lease bridging, no valuation products, etc. This enables us as brokers to be able to find a solution for our clients, regardless of their circumstances, and shows bridging is becoming a more favourable solution than it once was.
If you would like advice on how to maximise your buy to let portfolio or make the most of the exciting new products on the market, please get in touch.