David Conway mortgage and protection adviser at Clayhall Financial Services, said as lender affordability criteria and policies for buy-to-let deals became stricter, achieving quick turnaround times was becoming a struggle for both lenders and brokers.
“Buy-to-let lending has become closer to regulated lending and is now slower and comparable in time frame to residential owner-occupier loans. Our own compliance is also cumbersome but I’m working with my network (Personal Touch) to reduce time taken here as well. I have asked them just to find some way of saving us five minutes a day as currently the process equates to 20 hours over a year.”
The findings come as a recent Mortgage Solutions poll of 225 readers revealed that for almost half of brokers, the quickest mortgage offer they’ve been granted this year is between one and five days. For 19% of brokers, the quickest mortgage offer had been in less than 24 hours, while 13% had seen this come through in a day. A further 16% saw offers come through within five to 10 days while 8% said they had to wait over 10 days.
Lenders named by brokers as being best for service so far this year included Santander, Halifax, Accord Mortgages, Skipton Building Society, Nationwide and Barclays.
Daniel Bailey, principal at Middleton Finance, said that this year he has been receiving lender offers within an average of 10 days, but explained that better use of technology would push the process along more efficiently.
“Even when a case goes to offer, you can still be waiting two or three days to get the offer to the solicitor, so it would be great to see our industry embrace technology a bit more. I know a number of lenders are getting better at accepting scan and attach documents, but the solicitor still needs its copy of the mortgage offer, so it would certainly speed things up if emails were sent directly rather than posted,” he added.
But senior mortgage and insurance adviser at Capricorn Financial, Alex Smith, said brokers also had a key role to play in ensuring speedy mortgage offers and completions.
“It’s all down to correct packaging,” he said. “If you can anticipate what the lender is going to ask for in terms of documentation and then get those sent off in a timely fashion, then generally speaking then it can speed up the underwriting and make the overall turnaround time quicker.”