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How to adapt and stay ahead in the post-pandemic mortgage market – Merrett

by: Richard Merrett, head of strategic development at SimplyBiz Mortgages
  • 01/04/2022
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How to adapt and stay ahead in the post-pandemic mortgage market – Merrett
Much has already been written about the unprecedented changes to all our lives during the pandemic, which will be forever seen as fundamental change - but we now need to focus on adapting to the aftermath.

In mortgages, we have seen huge criteria changes and a rush on intermediary services to support record purchase transaction demand, and now secure rates on remortgages amidst ever-escalating cost.

But from a consumer perspective, it feels like the pandemic was the catalyst for ongoing change in the way we think about what we want from our homes and our lifestyles, and the way in which property can support those goals.

Having open conversations with your clients as well as keeping an eye on trends and research can ensure that you keep one step ahead of the changing market.

With that approach in mind, I thought I’d explore the impacts of the pandemic yet to come, and ways to support discussions with some of the following types of clients:


First-time buyers

With deposit and affordability challenges rife in the marketplace, and the approaching end of Help to Buy, the profile of joint borrower, sole proprietor mortgages seems to be growing.

For me, the most interesting of a new breed of options is with Generation Home. The proposition is innovative, and its modern marketing approach and intelligent use of language potentially gives us new opportunities to talk to a different breed of customer who may otherwise either not be engaged with buying or home, or simply think it’s impossible.


Buy-to-let borrowers

You may have seen some information about green mortgages recently. They seem quite vogue, right?

Clearly saving the planet is hugely important, but how can these be used to help your advice process and client engagement? The key is to understand the upcoming energy performance certificate (EPC) requirements on property that start with landlords. Given the requirements, we are already hearing reports of buy-to-let investors increasingly looking at new-build properties not affected by this regulation, thus potentially saving a great deal of hassle and investment in the longer term.


Holiday let

The rise of holiday let and second home purchases is not exactly a new headline, and I am sure you have all experienced a surge in enquiries on this basis. We like to flex our advice muscles when having client conversations, so why not go a step further and get some excellent know-how in your back pocket?

The Sykes Staycation index is one such resource. Who knew a hot tub could make your client’s holiday cottage potentially 54 per cent more profitable?


Older borrowers

The ‘Thursday Murder Club’ effect?

Bear with me on this one – many older customers will have experienced long periods of isolation and anecdotal feedback has reported a surge in interest in the luxury concierge-style retirement villages. You know the ones, advertised in the Sunday papers’ property pages with swimming pools, gym, and a desirable community vibe.

Given such a location was the setting for Richard Osman’s best-selling novel, which is about to be turned into a film, will some of your older customers read about such a community and think to themselves, ‘I want a piece of that’?

If you engage with equity release and downsizing options, you could be the gateway to helping them achieve this dream and your business could be the beneficiary of a ‘Thursday Murder Club’ effect.

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