Professional landlords call for manual underwriting process: MT Finance

More than a third of investors want buy-to-let lenders to apply a manual underwriting process for professional landlords, according to a survey by MT Finance.

The lender’s Property Investor Survey shows that four in 10 (42 per cent) property investors said they had struggled to secure a mainstream buy-to-let mortgage in the past 12 months.

Just over half (54 per cent) cited affordability criteria as the primary barrier to mainstream funding. About a third (32 per cent) said age restrictions were the main issues. while 14 per cent had insufficient deposit capital.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of those unable to obtain a BTL mortgage filled the funding gap with other sources of liquidity, such as bridging loans, specialist buy-to-let lending, and secured loans.

Nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) of the property investors surveyed thought BTL lenders weren’t doing enough to support them.

When asked what mainstream BTL lenders could do to better support them, 36 per cent suggested applying a manual underwriting process for professional landlords, followed by increasing loan-to-value thresholds at 32 per cent, and relaxing age restrictions at 26 per cent.

MT Finance commercial director Gareth Lewis says: “The results from our Q1 2019 Property Investor Survey reflects the impact of stricter affordability and stress testing from high-street lenders on professional property investors’ ability to obtain mainstream funding.

“The need for reliable, transparent, and quick access to funds is ever-critical and specialist finance, such as bridging loans, will continue to pick up when a more personalised approach to underwriting is required.

“With highly professional specialist lenders offering flexible products at competitive rates, bridging finance has become an attractive proposition to those property investors who are looking to expand their portfolio and need certainty when conducting their business and who often need to move swiftly to capitalise on an opportunity.”

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