The lender raised concerns about a slowdown in the buy-to-let market, but suggested limited company approaches could become more prevalent.
Accord Mortgages’ national intermediary sales manager David Robinson (pictured) said: “While there were highs and lows during 2017, the intermediary market came out in a robust position which puts it in good stead for the coming year.
“As our predictions suggest, there are positive developments on the horizon and brokers are likely to increase their share in the mortgage market as a whole.
“As 2018 is the Year of the Dog it’s important for us to remain cautious and prudent as economic and political changes unfold during the year whilst remaining loyal to the most important person – the customer,” he added.
Accord buy to let commercial manager Chris Maggs added that it had been a challenging year for landlords and hoped there would be no further government intervention in 2018.
“Landlords have demonstrated resilience in the past with changes to the market. There will always be a place for the private rental sector as people will always need somewhere to live and not everyone can or wants to buy their own home,” he said.
The lender’s eight mortgage market predictions for 2018 are:
- The home buying process will become more digitalised. Automated Valuation Models (AVM) for property valuations and real-time affordability checks will play a more significant part in buying a home.
- Lenders will make further investments in technology to ensure they offer a seamless mortgage application process.
- However, the human touch will continue to play an important role. Just as clients continue to value face-to-face interactions with brokers, in turn brokers appreciate a personal touch from a lender. People can find a common ground, something computers can never do.
- Stamp duty relief will help more first-time buyers get onto the property ladder, but may have a detrimental effect on the private rental sector as more people opt to own rather than rent a home.
- Retention will be a key driver for lenders as they develop a balance cultivating offerings for existing customers as well as enticing new borrowers.
- April will be an important month for the buy-to-let sector. Landlords may see a greater impact on their net profit as the next stage of the reduction in tax relief is phased in this month. This may also prompt lenders to review their minimum rental cover requirements to ensure landlords can comfortably manage their mortgage payments.
- Purchasing new buy-to-let properties through limited companies may become more prevalent amongst landlords serious about either entering the market or building their portfolio.