In fact, I am beginning to wonder if there has ever been a better time to be a broker.
The most recent report from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) suggests demand for professional advice amid these uncertain times has reached an historic high.
Increasing complexity in the market place is supporting demand for expert advice from brokers. Wherever you look, options for mortgage applicants have become more varied.
First-time buyers, for instance, are faced with an array of options – whether Help to Buy, shared ownership or shared equity.
The buy-to-let market is another case in point.
Following the raft of taxation and regulatory changes it has gone through, lenders have reacted to the new landscape by offering record variety in mortgage products.
Fragmentation has also supported the need for advice. The Prudential Regulation Authority rules introduced in September 2017 have essentially created two classes of landlords bringing more complexity for portfolio investors.
At the same time, taxation changes have meant a steep rise in the amount of technical knowledge required to meet a portfolio investor’s specialist needs as they take new approaches.
For example, operating via a limited company or to diversifying their portfolio away from traditional residential stock.
Our research found that 51% of brokers have been approached by landlords looking to diversify – 56% into houses of multiple occupation (HMOs), 14% into commercial property and 9% into mixed use.
Reasons to be cheerful
As the demand for brokers continues to improve, so too have the tools available as lenders are developing solutions to make brokers’ lives easier.
Despite the gloom, there are in fact plenty of reasons for brokers to be cheery.
At this time of uncertainty and market change, the proportion of landlords that now need experienced, professional advice is likely to increase.
This is the time where trusted advisers can make the most impact.