The majority of the 100 brokers questioned by the lender expect the sector to expand by at least 20 per cent.
The poll suggested that borrowing into retirement followed by the self-employed are the biggest growing niches.
Multiple income applicants, second charges and adverse credit applicants made up the top five areas of expected growth.
New clients make up almost three quarter of specialist business, the poll suggested.
Furthermore, successfully helping a customer with more challenging requirements is more likely to become a loyal client.
Nine in 10 said that specialist mortgage customers are more likely to approach them again, and there was also a higher chance of customers referring friends and family.
‘This market has evolved’
Buster Tolfree (pictured), director of mortgages, UTB, said: “I’m not surprised that more than three quarters of brokers who took part in the research for this paper believe the specialist market offers a greater opportunity now than ever before. I absolutely agree that it does, and what’s more, I believe that what many might describe as something of a niche market is going to grow significantly. Cost of living challenges, and a rising base rate, will push more customers towards solutions from specialist lenders.
“What also comes through loud and clear in the report is that this market has evolved materially since coming to prominence around the turn of the millennium.
“It is now a mature and competitive market which offers a greater choice of lenders and solutions than ever before, in a much stronger regulatory framework. It presents a huge opportunity for brokers and if we continue to strive to give customers what they need, and we as lenders continue to give brokers quicker, easier and more efficient ways of dealing with us, we can all take a decent slice of a cake which is only going to get bigger.”