Speaking on a panel at The Specialist Lending Event yesterday in Aintree near Liverpool, Barratt said lenders had left it to the “last minute” and rushed out lending changes.
“Brokers are picking up the phone to ask questions on paperwork and processes which people in lender call-centres simply can’t answer. It’s the customer on the other end of that process I really feel for,” said Barratt.
She added it was very sad watching clients struggling to restructure mortgage portfolios of four or more mortgaged properties and said she suspected the next couple of years would be a roller coaster ride.
Specialist Lending Solutions reported in January that advisers continue to struggle with the opaque nature of portfolio buy-to-let lending criteria making it difficult to understand why cases are rejected or accepted.
Meanwhile, later in the panel, Jo Breedon, managing director at Crystal Specialist Finance said the buy-to-let sector as a whole still represents a strong investment prospect. “I’d still far rather invest my money in buy to let than Bitcoin,” he said.
Rob Jupp, CEO at Brightstar Financial observed that down-valuations had become an issue for the market since the Brexit vote and added he had seen more recently than he had in years.
“It could be poor valuations – but the biggest issue is that if London sneezes, the rest of the country will catch a cold.”
However, he went on to say it would not be a flat market for specialist mortgages overall.
“All our sectors will have good years and it’s going to be a really exciting time to be on specialist side,” he added.
“There is so much positivity about these markets because unlike the mainstream market where intermediaries only control 70 to 75% of distribution, with specialist, intermediaries control all of it. Fill your boots,” he said.