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MAOE 2024: Smaller BTL investors feeling most of the pain – Owens

  • 09/07/2024
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MAOE 2024: Smaller BTL investors feeling most of the pain – Owens
The buy-to-let (BTL) market is not dead, but smaller investors will find it most difficult, a surveyor said.

During the Mortgage Solutions Mortgage Administrator Online Event (MAOE), Rob Barnard, relationship director at Pepper Money, asked Rob Owens, head of research at E.Surv Chartered Surveyors, if the BTL market was “dead”. Owens responded with “not really”. 

He continued on to say the sector was “still pretty strong” but the most pain was being seen among smaller investors who were dependent on mortgage finance. 

Owens said higher rates had made things more difficult, as had proposed rental reform measures. 

“Larger investors are less dependent on mortgage finance and doing pretty well,” Owens added, saying “pretty punchy rent increases” had helped with this. 

He said there was still high demand and a lack of supply, so rental properties were still needed. 

“We don’t want to get rid of smaller landlords, but unfortunately they are at the pointy end of the stick. Hopefully, mortgage rates, as they start to come down, things might start to ease a little bit,” Owens said. 

Barnard agreed, saying there could be fewer so-called “dinner party landlords” who were using BTL investments to supplement their pensions. 

There has been a diversification of portfolios, Barnard said, adding that people were getting “a little more switched on into houses of multiple occupation [HMOs], holiday lets and Airbnb.” 


Administrators prepared for ‘influx’ of business

Speaking about the possibility of lower rates in the latter half of this year, Barnard asked Beth Clayton, senior relationship manager at Vibe Finance, if mortgage administrators were prepared to help brokers with a potential influx in business.

Clayton said the rate pulls seen last year “put administrators in a good space to be ready for an influx”.

She added: “If we could have dealt with the rate pulls the way we have, which we did successfully, I think it goes to show we’re ready for anything that hits us. If we can get through that, we can do the easy bit.”

Clayton said communication would be “key” among all industry players to properly manage this.


Watch the full session below [29:09], hosted by Shekina Tuahene, deputy editor and commercial editor of Mortgage Solutions, and moderated by Rob Barnard, relationship director at Pepper Money, with guests Rob Owens, head of research as E.Surv Chartered Surveyors, and Beth Clayton, senior relationship manager at Vibe Finance.


Want to catch up with all the MAOE sessions? The videos have been uploaded to the Mortgage Solutions YouTube page here.

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