Mortgage and investment management firm Cobalt Capital is moving into Europe. Speaking at a recent Mortgage Solutions Power Hour on foreign mortgage markets, Andrew Drummond, director at Cobalt, said the company had many clients who, having bought a second or third buy-to-let property in London, were now looking to buy in France.
Drummond said: ‘The average loan size is about £150,000 and we have had between five and 10 inquiries a month, with average loan to values of around 70%. We have a fairly high level client base. They are not going to the Costas and buying £80,000 holiday flats ‘ they look more to villas.’
He added: ‘We have to work closely with the foreign lawyers as clients tend to hang their hat on us as their relationship is established and local. It is a heavier workload.’
Cobalt in-tends to ini-tially concen- trate in France and Spain, using lenders such as RBS, Barclays, Woolwich and Fr- ench and Sp- anish banks. It has already established a link with a Parisian broker.
When asked why more brokers are not moving into Europe, Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at Charcol, said: ‘There is a language barrier, but you also have to understand all the legal processes and regulations.’
l For further reading see Power Hour on page 27.