Clouded by uncertainty, lenders must be confident and open for business to help support brokers and customers weather these challenges.
With an influx of fixed deals and a landmark drop in interest rates, borrowers could easily face confusion over what the right options for them should be. It will fall to brokers to manage expectations and ensure clients are making the best products choices. Market-leading products need to be aligned with transparent criteria, efficient processing and a consistent service ethos – and strong relationships will of course be vital.
Amid this turbulence, the landscape is shifting. The latest Halifax Generation Rent report found that more than one in 20 young people still expect to be paying a mortgage beyond the age of 70, while the average age of a first-time buyer is over 30 and one in four take up a 35-year mortgage term. Against this backdrop, lenders are having to continually review products to ensure they reflect the evolving needs of a changing homeowner demographic.
Supporting the intermediary market therefore remains more important than ever. Within Lloyds Banking Group, new mortgage lending remained strong during the first six months of 2016, totalling £17.7bn, up from £16.1bn the same period in 2015. And none of that includes product transfers. Through our Helping Britain Prosper plan, we remain committed to helping one in four first-time buyers onto the property ladder and one in four new builds.
The buy-to-let market remains strong against a backdrop of regulatory change. BM Solutions’ latest report found the average yield has eased slightly and with the impact of the impending tax changes on landlords’ profitability still to be felt, some landlords will need to consider their options in order to cover a reduction in tax relief on mortgage interest.
The market indeed needs us all to remain committed, calm and confident as we work our way through these uncertain times. Quality of advice will remain a key strength and differentiator for advisers, backed by robust products and the support of providers to ensure everyone on board is best placed to navigate the landscape ahead.