In its bi-annual mortgage lender benchmark report, which collates feedback from 597 brokers on 44 lenders, Smart Money People found that 82 per cent of the brokers criteria feedback for the specialist sector was positive.
Nearly all the brokers surveyed, around 92 per cent and the highest for any mortgage industry sector, said that flexibility of specialist sector was positive.
This was coupled with ease, which increased by a third compared to the same period last year to around 68 per cent.
Specialist lenders were also used more for adverse credit cases, with feedback on adverse lending growing 11 per cent compared to the first half of last year.
However, negative feedback around processing speed increased by 11 per cent year-on-year to 72 per cent.
Brokers said that they felt that lenders sometimes took too long to review documents and asked for unnecessary documentation.
Smart Money People’s chief executive officer Jacqueline Dewey said that the pandemic has led to specialist lenders being in high demand, especially for those with adverse credit, which may have had a knock-on effect in processing times.
She added that she expected the heightened demand to continue, particularly with regard to more challenging adverse credit clients, and that specialist lenders would need to work on their back-office processes to make themselves increasingly competitive.