Quality advice is needed more than ever as BTL market experiences 'perfect storm', says Fleet Mortgages CCO

Yesterday (1st July), specialist finance brokers and lenders got together for Brightstar Group’s Specialist Lending Virtual Expo.

The day-long event was organised to offer the latest insights to help introducers develop and grow their specialist mortgage business.

In addition to a virtual exhibition hall, which allowed guests to speak to and download content from 15 lenders — such as Together, Fleet Mortgages, United Trust Bank, Allica Bank, Masthaven and more — the expo featured numerous talks throughout the day, including a panel discussion on ‘the state of the specialist lending nation’ and 30-minute sessions on various specialist finance topics from 11 keynote speakers.

During a talk on BTL business, Steve Cox, chief commercial officer at Fleet Mortgages, suggested that the BTL market is experiencing a “perfect storm” as a result of the low interest rate environment, coupled with rising tenancy demand and potentially better returns for investors in bricks and mortar.

He added that quality advice from specialist lenders and distributors is needed more than ever, particularly for clients who have suffered credit adversity over the past 18 months due to the pandemic.

“These customers are not easily placed in the high street . . . they absolutely need a mortgage broker and quality advice at the epicentre of their housing needs and wants for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Chris Holcomb, corporate sales manager at Vida Homeloans, shared a similar view during his speech on what’s in store for the BTL market this year.

He thinks that while the BTL outlook appears positive, the impact of Covid-19 on people’s finances will likely have a lasting impact on the industry.

He pointed out that landlords were not immune to these concerns, especially those who have picked up minor credit blips during this period.

“Specialist lenders have become vital in making sure these landlords have access to the support they need,” he commented.

“With a new generation of borrowers with impaired access to credit, many landlords will need the support of a strong specialist lender that takes a flexible and human approach to lending, especially when dealing with complex circumstances.”

He added that the changes to mortgage interest relief and the possible reform of capital gains tax, it is likely we’ll see more landlords considering to set up limited companies to make sure their investments remain profitable.  

Commenting on the success of the event, Rob Jupp, CEO at Brightstar Group, said: "It's absolutely wonderful to be able to achieve another ground-breaking moment by hosting such a well run, well supported and well attended event.

“I'm extremely proud of Michelle [Westley, head of marketing at Brightstar Group] and her fabulous marketing team."

Michelle added: “We put a lot of work into creating The Specialist Lending Virtual Expo and developing a content programme that could make a tangible difference to broker businesses. 

“So, we are really delighted that so many brokers turned up on the day and that there was such great engagement with all of the 16 exhibitor stands, the panel debate chaired by Rob Jupp, and the 11 keynote speakers. 

“Overall, just over 300 delegates attended the event and we are already receiving really positive feedback.”

Adrian Moloney, group sales director at OSB Group, added: “It was an absolute pleasure to be part of such a dynamic virtual event aimed specifically at the specialist lending sector and a great opportunity for brokers to learn from the leading experts in the field.”

Buster Tolfree, director of mortgages at United Trust Bank, shared Adrian’s enthusiasm: “As usual, there were some great panellists and insightful takeaways for introducers on how specialist lending can help brokers generate more income by providing financial solutions for customers who have more complex circumstances and requirements.”

Joshua Elash, director at MT Finance, noted: “I was delighted to have had the opportunity to be involved in such a well organised, engaging, and educational discussion. 

“With such a broad range of topics covered by some of the specialist lending industry's brightest, even as a panel member I learned a great deal listening to my fellow contributors.  

“A tremendous amount of credit must be given to Brightstar and Medianett for making such a dynamic expo come to life in such circumstances.”

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