Property Investor Show - Securing finance and securing it fast

Property Investor Show - Securing finance and securing it fast


Last week saw the UK’s largest property investment event take place at the ExCeL London Exhibition Centre. Visiting these shows always gives an interesting insight into the current market and according to Karen Bennett, Head of Sales at Shawbrook Bank, which was an exhibitor, this year’s Property Investor Show was no exception…

It’s an interesting time for the property investor market. For several years property investors have been favoured and supported by the big banks, but this is shifting and trading businesses are now seen as holding more potential for banks due to greater opportunities for cross-selling. Property investors are also challenged because a number of specialist lenders who were funded by other banks are being withdrawn but not replaced.

Frustratingly for property investors, despite the funding challenges there are huge opportunities in the market, which I outlined in a seminar at the show. By 2016, Savills & Rightmove have predicted that one in five households will be living in private rented accommodation – which means an additional 1.1 million rental homes will be required. The buy-to-let market is growing, and the word on many people’s lips was the barrier that is becoming all too common. Securing finance, and securing it fast. 

We also noted real concern and confusion among property investors who are being forced to refinance their loans, despite having a long term relationship with their bank. Banks are very focused at the moment on net new lending to meet their targets, and as refinancing doesn’t fall under net new lending, many property investors are being asked to refinance.

Our message at the show was, of course, that Shawbrook is in a position to lend and we are already helping to finance some of the experienced property investors who have no option but to exit their current loan arrangements. We are keen to continue growing our share of the property investor market, and recently revamped our product range, introducing 11 tailored products specifically designed for property investors.

There was certainly a sense of hope and excitement at the show around the growing number of new challenger banks, like Shawbrook, and other alternative lenders who are helping to plug the funding gap left by the High Street banks. We noted significant interest among delegates at the show in alternative sources of funding, including the Funding for Lending scheme and whether property investors will see any of the benefits. Our view… it’s too early to say at this stage whether it will benefit property investors, but we are of course hopeful.

Shawbrook is serious about lending to property investors and we have an aggressive appetite to grow our share of this market. We don’t have any toxic debt and are in full control of our cost of funds. We don’t just go for the easy options in this market – we’re open to more complex residential deals including HMOs, limited companies and larger multi-unit blocks.

Being present at exhibitions like the Property Investor Show really helps us to examine and understand the property investor market. We talk to our brokers, and regularly ask for their feedback on our products and processes. We aim to be constantly ahead of the curve, adapting and innovating so our products are always fit for purpose and meet the needs of our clients.

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