The speculation around buy-to-let will continue regardless, so advisers must simply play the market with a straight bat
Depending on which statistical analysis you read, buy-to-let is either bouncing back, due to an influx of Chinese investors, or stagnating, having been crippled by the Government and regulatory measures. I believe the sector lies between two stools.
It does not take a genius to work out that activity is considerably down on that experienced in February and March this year. Purchasing has undoubtedly been affected but where it is still happening there is much more use of limited company vehicles. Remortgage activity has tended to dominate in recent months.
The speculation around buy-to-let will continue regardless and advisers simply have to play the market with a straight bat. Business is clearly being conducted but, if you are assuming it is only individuals purchasing, you are probably mistaken.
You will need to demonstrate your knowledge in terms of both remortgaging and purchasing properties via limited companies. If you are not clued up on these markets, you will cut yourself off from the majority of buy-to-let business being written.
On top of this, you need to prove your knowledge of the Prudential Regulation Authority’s buy-to-let underwriting rules. Lenders will not be waiting around for the deadline dates. Instead, changes are likely to be steadily introduced over some months, which will obviously change the loan levels available and the ability of clients to meet criteria.
This is a sector in flux. Make yourself and your clients aware of what is happening, be clued up on all changes and give yourself the best chance of securing the business that is out there.
Bob Young is chief executive of Fleet Mortgages