Mortgage Express has toppled Birmingham Midshires to become the top buy-to-let lender for new business in the first half of 2003.
While Mortgage Express has been number one for outstanding balances for the past two years, figures published by the CML show it now to have overtaken BM in gross advances – in which BM led throughout 2002.
Mortgage Express says the results are a sign of the buoyancy of the buy-to-let market and ongoing development of its products. It processed some £2bn of business in the first half of 2003 alone.
Tim Sturley, head of business development, says: “These results are a recognition of continuing innovation by Mortgage Express in buy-to-let, like our Limited Company product earlier this year. Combined with our 30-second decision in principle, the market sees this as a winning combination.”
Industry pundits say the results are testament to Mortgage Express' relationship with intermediaries.
Mark Alexander, director of the Money Centre in Norwich, says: “Mortgage Express deserves this level of business. It outranks everyone by a mile so it's no surprise it has overtaken Birmingham Midshires.”
HBOS' Birmingham Midshires, The Mortgage Business and Bank of Scotland trailed in second, third and seventh positions respectively.
Matt Grayson, public relations manager at Birmingham Midshires, says: “Mortgage Express has had to pay a heavy price for these results with the £151m purchase of three loan portfolios. BM is exactly where it wants to be. Gross advances at the end of the year will be broadly similar but obviously our business will be more profitable.”