Intermediaries think that Brexit and stagnant house prices will not negatively affect the lending market, with only 2.5% of professionals expecting to see sales decline, according to the latest analysis from Masthaven.
Around 84 per cent of specialist lending intermediaries feel confident about their company’s prospects over the next 12 months.
Around 35% of intermediaries believe lending criteria will be the biggest growth challenge for the year ahead, followed by regulation and lack of innovation, at 27 and 18 per cent respectively.
Almost a quarter of brokers said customers were more likely to prioritise flexible lending criteria, and only five per cent believed low fees are a priority for customers. However, low rates are still thought to be top of customers’ agendas.
Remortgaging and product transfers were seen as the key areas for growth for almost a quarter of those surveyed, standing at 14 and 10 per cent respectively.
Matt Andrews, managing director of mortgages at Masthaven (pictured), said that despite ongoing Brexit negotiations and another quarter of slowing house prices, it is positive to know that intermediaries are confident about a successful 2019.
He added: “Customers, new and returning, are continuing to turn to specialist lending options for flexible products which traditional high street banks have been slow to cater for.
“This year is set to be another bumper one for the industry – we are already seeing restrictive credit scores and prescriptive lending criteria being reconsidered.
“However, there is always room for improvement. We must continue to create innovate products, develop frictionless services and streamline the borrowing process so that despite the unknown uncertainties that lie ahead, specialist finance will continue to become the new normal.”