Economic tracker: High-street brands not the only option


There’s no doubt about it – the buy-to-let market continues to grow and the latest CML figures for quarter three show a 16 per cent increase in loans advanced on quarter two. The loans themselves were worth £5.7bn, up 19 per cent on the previous quarter.

The reasons for this increase are many and varied not least the fact we have new and returning lenders entering the fray, coupled with a greater appetite from existing players to carry out buy-to-let business.

All good news – for both brokers and their clients especially when we have a burgeoning specialist, i.e non-high street, lending sector who are steeped in this market and have the experience and quality to make a difference.

Sometimes I will hear brokers bemoaning the fact their clients are not particularly well-versed on the specialist players and sometimes they want a more ‘well known’ brand rather than a perfectly acceptable and competitive niche operator.

Indeed, I saw a recent survey of brokers which suggested a third of all their property investor/landlord clients had no idea about specialist lenders and their buy-to-let offering.

Far be it for me to state the blindingly obvious but I wouldn’t expect this to be the case – this is the whole reason why landlords/investors use brokers, isn’t it?

To access products and funding lines which may not be widely known but still offer the finance and criteria needed.

If clients come to a broker just wanting a brand name then they need to be educated on the existence of other lenders apart from the high-street options.

However we shouldn’t expect, even the most experienced of landlords, to be capable of rattling off the names of every provider and product they can access. 

In a way it is better for brokers if there is no working knowledge of a specialist because, while brand is important, the right product and terms should always come out on top regardless.

Clients are looking for this advice, knowledge and support – brokers should be able to circumnavigate any perceived preference in order to get the right deal, every time.