One poignant example of change in today’s market is the surge in brokers using experts in specialist lending for cases. Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that challenger banks and specialist lenders increased their gross lending by 56% in 2015, clearly demonstrating a growing need in the market place.
The specialist lending market is developing as the notion of a traditional working day is quickly evaporating. Businesses are increasingly encouraged to install flexible working practices, resulting in freelancers and contractors filling what were traditionally full time roles. As such, there is now a more diverse pool of customers and an increasing number of borrowers with more ‘untraditional’ cases for brokers to assess.
Of course, it’s not just the specialist lending market that a network’s proposition must respond to. Networks must also be able to react quickly to legislative changes and provide their brokers with the most up-to-date information and literature.
Earlier in the year, David Cameron’s government announced tax relief changes, followed by new stamp duty levels in conjuncture with the PRA consultation paper on underwriting standards for buy-to-let mortgages; part of a plan to manage the growth of the private rented sector.
Today, however, Theresa May is signalling that her administration could look to reinvigorate the rental sector and make further stamp duty changes. All the while, complex changes to buy-to-let tax receipts still come into effect next year.
In short, whether a firm is focusing on specialist cases, first-time buyers, landlords or housing portfolios, the market is becoming increasingly complex. At the same time, brokers are giving advice across a much broader range of mortgage-related and protection client needs.
Simply put, all networks need to provide additional support in this evolving market and offer a proposition that caters for these needs, or risk an uncertain future.