ADVICE AND THE TECH BENEFITS FOR LANDLORDS

We’ve seen a huge amount of tech innovation throughout the buy-to-let marketplace in recent times and even more so during the pandemic. This period has really shown how lenders and advisers are utilising a variety of online platforms to support landlords, investors and developers in getting to grips with shifting market conditions.

There has been a plethora of webinars, online events, virtual roadshows, launches of Covid-19 information hubs and live feeds, plus regular updates across social media. And this demand for information around BTL was evident when a recent series of webinars hosted by specialist finance trade body FIBA saw a whopping 1,000 registrations from the intermediary community.

COULD COVID-19 RESULT IN MORE PEOPLE BECOMING RELIANT UPON THE RENTAL MARKET?

As we head into what we all hope will be a sensible exit from lockdown, it’s inevitable that the past few weeks immersed within the confines of our own homes will have changed the outlooks, priorities and material needs of many homeowners and renters. And it will be interesting to see how these factors could impact the property market.

There are also other factors to take into consideration. Will remote working change the way businesses run and provide greater flexibility for a larger proportion of the workforce, therefore influencing the way people do, or don’t, commute. Or maybe people will require another room to incorporate that new office and realise that their current space is not enough for their future needs.

FOLLOW THE RISING RENTAL TRENDS

Following my recent blog post on the return of surveyors and valuers to the property market, it’s interesting to see what impact this may have had on the rental market, from a statistical sense.

According to Rightmove, demand for properties in the private rented sector is up by 22% compared to last year. The data from the property website showed that since letting agents were permitted to reopen on 13 May, the demand for rental homes has increased at a quicker rate than the sales market. Lockdown break-ups, job losses and urgent relocations are thought to have contributed to this surge in demand throughout the rental sector.

PATIENCE REQUIRED AS BTL MARKET IS REIGNITED

In recent weeks I have spoken about the ways in which BTL lenders have been working hard behind the scenes to find alternative solutions to overcome ongoing valuation issues and restructure product ranges which better support landlords and the intermediary market. And this raft of planning was put into practice pretty much overnight as physical valuations were given the green light to proceed – albeit with safety measures and social distancing restrictions firmly in place to minimise any risks posed by Covid-19.

Inevitably, this was the trigger for a number of lenders to spring into action.  Apologies in advance if I miss any lenders off the list below, but it’s important to highlight those who have opened, or reopened, their doors as a result of this important turning point for the mortgage market. Not to mention the new product ranges on offer.

THE RETURN OF PHYSICAL VALUATIONS – GREAT NEWS FOR THE BUY TO LET SECTOR

The return of surveyors and valuers – on the back of the government’s guidance on moving home during the coronavirus crisis provided by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick – is highly positive news for the housing and mortgage markets, not to mention the economy as a whole. For several long weeks, many lenders have not been able to process new mortgage applications because they couldn’t instruct physical valuations. Naturally, this has had major repercussions for landlords, homeowners and first-time buyers who were already in the process of, or thinking about, property purchases.

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