Mortgage payment deferrals, non-physical valuations, and other changes to our world came thick and fast.
While reduced lender capacity and appetite had an immediate and longer lasting impact on the residential sector, it quickly became clear that landlords’ focus was on the best way to manage and increase their portfolios.
Even though the possibility of house price deflation is a concern, other recent indicators give investors a more positive outlook.
Homelet recorded a yearly rise in rent of 1.1 per cent in June and Goodlord’s Letting Activity tracker jumped 18 per cent on completed lets in June compared to last year as pent up demand for new homes over lockdown translated into confirmed tenancies.
Advisers and lenders have certainly been kept busy by their landlord customers in recent weeks.
According to Twenty7Tec search volumes for buy-to-let products on their sourcing systems jumped by nearly 50 per cent between May and June as England opened up for physical valuations and were eight per cent higher than the number of searches in March this year.
Our own figures show the same trend.
Between February, the last full month before lockdown, and June this year we saw a 116 per cent increase in the number of applications and a 165 per cent increase in the total value of those applications.
As well as a healthy return to form for BTL, the increase in applications also highlights the agility of newer lenders.
In tough market conditions those that are able to step up with product availability and service delivery have an opportunity to develop new and existing intermediary relationships and maybe challenge the status quo – ultimately leading to healthier competition and better choice and outcomes for brokers and their clients.
If the latest figures we are seeing are indicative of the market as a whole they prove landlords can weather the storm and see the next buy-to-let normal as an opportunity.