Sally Laker: Getting the message on new-build

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As new-build gains interest and activity, there needs to be a belief that lenders will deliver a slick and efficient service.

There are signs at last that lenders are upping their game in the new-build space as they seek to be recognised as serious players. During the past few months a number have been opening their doors to embrace this sector.

While Halifax and Nationwide are still regarded as the most prominent in the space, Santander has done well to establish itself, Virgin has been radically improving its terms and Barclays recently confirmed its Help to Buy London offering, along with Aldermore, NatWest and many others too. In addition, TSB recently announced its expansion into the new-build market following unprecedented levels of new-business interest. As a result, it is exploring a new-build range to suit a wider group of homebuyers.

According to the National House Building Council, the number of new homes registered to be built in the UK topped 156,000 in 2015, an increase of 7 per cent on the previous year and reaching an eight-year high. London is still way ahead of other regions with 25,994 registrations, despite being 9 per cent down on 2014, but the NHBC sees no let-up in this growth nationally.

Despite all this new interest and activity, getting accepted as a credible new-build lender is no walk in the park. Service levels must be excellent and access to specialist knowledge is key in order to gain a broker’s trust. Managing both the client and developer is a 24/7 job, so there needs to be a belief that the lender will deliver a slick and efficient service.

Sally Laker is managing director of Mortgage Intelligence