View more on these topics

Buy-to-Let Watch: Let’s rise to the challenge as one

If we work together, portfolio landlords will still gain access to finance and mainstream media will have to seek doom-laden stories elsewhere

The implementation of the PRA’s new underwriting standards has just been completed and, understandably, much of the discussion in the sector is focused on the impact the new rules will have. Indeed, at our recent buy-to-let event in Bracknell, the effect of the PRA changes on everything from business levels to processing times came up for discussion.

Processing times in particular are a concern for those of us operating in the sector. With lenders required to ask for more information from landlord clients, relating to their entire portfolio and not just the property in question, it is almost guaranteed that the processing stage of an application will take longer than normal. In the fast-paced world of buy-to-let where property investors want to move as quickly as possible, this could be an issue.

One particular comment at our event stood out. When the panel was asked by an audience member what measures lenders were putting in place to ensure delays were minimal, panelist Roger Morris claimed the deciding factor would be brokers’ ability to upskill in terms of packaging the documents and data needed.

This point resonated with me because it showed the importance of the broker/lender relationship. The changes being imposed on the BTL market essentially affect lenders but, by working closely with brokers, they will be able to minimise any disruption to the client.

Indeed, the theme of co-operation and adjusting together to the changes came up a lot during the debate. As Morris rightly pointed out, we didn’t ask for the changes but, as an industry, we can meet them and produce a successful market if we all rise to the challenge.

On another note, while the sector is pulling together to ensure portfolio landlord clients are still able to access finance — and with relatively few problems — the mainstream media, it appears, are on a mission to talk down the market. Whenever there’s a slow news day, it seems the easiest thing to do is throw together a list of the changes affecting the landlord market and lament the end of BTL. Yet I sat at our event and heard how lenders were working hard to adjust to the changes and how investors were continuing to seek finance. There was none of that doom or misery the press seems to think radiates around our market now.

While the trade press may be speaking the truth, the problem is that it is the mainstream news­papers that landlords will get their information from. Those of you who speak with journalists on a regular basis, let’s please work together to set the doom-mongers straight.

BTL-data
Click on image to enlarge

Ying Tan is managing director of Buy to Let Club

Recommended

judge-gavel-law-justice-fine-ban-500x320.jpg

Advertising authority bans ‘misleading’ Age Partnership TV ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a TV ad from retirement specialists Age Partnership for being ‘misleading’. The ad in question is for an equity release scheme and features an older couple who state that they are worried about their finances and had “thought about releasing money from our home”. The featured couple says: “We […]

Whittaker_David_2015
2

‘Car crash’ expected in BTL market following PRA changes

The buy-to-let market is set to be a ‘car crash’ following the implementation of underwriting changes for portfolio landlords, according to an industry expert. Speaking on a panel at the Financial Services Expo in London today, Mortgages for Business chief executive David Whittaker (pictured) said a combination of lack of knowledge among landlords and an absence […]

Mortgage-House-Coins-Wallet-House-700x450.jpg

Halifax Intermediaries relaxes self-employed criteria

Halifax Intermediaries has cut the level of income information it needs from self-employed mortgage borrowers from three to two years. Halifax will keep considering applications from those who have been self-employed for less than two years. However, these cases must be self-employed for at least one full year. Applications will then be reviewed by an […]

How we’re challenging challenger banks

The bridging market has enjoyed an excellent couple of years and, as a result, has seen a succession of new lenders enter the market. That competition has forced all of us to look carefully at how we price bridging loans. Over the past few months we have spent a lot of time on adjusting the […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up