The 2002 Mortgage Achilles research study, which was undertaken among a sample of 250 intermediaries by research company BDRC, shows that the self-certification market is now the biggest niche mortgage area for intermediaries.
The research, which was provided to subscribing companies last month, shows that 93% of intermediaries who handle specialist and niche mortgage products, now deal with self-certification mortgages. This is a rise of 13% on last year. Buy-to-let lending now falls in second place, with 83% handling this area, down by 3% on last year.
The self-certification sector accounts for 42% of volume in the niche lending area, up by 13% from last year. Buy-to-let has fallen to 22% of the market, a drop of 11% since last year. The average self-certification mortgage was £101,300, up 13% on 2001, whilst the average buy-to-let loan had risen by 19% to £80,700.
For the third year running, UCB Home Loans, the specialist self-certification lender and subsidiary of Nationwide Building Society, was named as the preferred self-certification specialist. The company received a 16% share of the vote and was followed by Birmingham Midshires and Halifax in joint second place with 12%.
Intermediaries rated UCB Home Loans highly for having a good product range and competitive rates, and named it the market leader in efficient administration, sticking to decisions in principle and providing regular updates on applications.
Charles Reed, managing director at UCB Home Loans, says: “Changing working patterns and the increasingly specialist requirements of the self-employed are contributing towards this growth in the self-certification market. Our lending is specifically geared towards this sector, and we are delighted to remain in first position as intermediaries' preferred self-certification lender.”
From a list of 20 factors which are important in choosing a niche or specialist lender, intermediaries named the top three as having decision makers on the telephone (63%), flexible underwriting (63%), and consistent decision making (61%).