‘To be the first choice for intermediaries where the high street can’t offer a solution’
By David Craik -
Specialist lender Precise Mortgages is joining the Bridging Loan Directory to promote its unique services to brokers and clients as the economy gathers pace post-pandemic.
The Wolverhampton-based lender is part of the OSB Group that also includes Kent Reliance for Intermediaries and InterBay Commercial, and provides finance across a wide range of specialist areas such as residential, buy to let, bridging and seconds.
Its role within the group is, according to James Forth, National Sales Manager at Precise Mortgages, “to be the first choice for intermediaries where the high street can’t offer a solution”.
Forth explains that Precise Mortgages is an expert in almost prime residential and buy to let lending, and can help first-time buyers, first-time landlords, self-employed workers and investors who run their rental business in a limited company structure, as well as those looking to explore the opportunities offered by HMOs or multi-unit blocks (MUBs).
It offers blended Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR) calculations to optimise the performance of each applicant’s situation and ownership structure, as well as an intuitive online system which automatically cascades applications through the product tiers to find the right product based on a customer’s individual credit profile.
“On top of this, we were the first specialist lender to come out with an innovative product referred to as ‘bridge to let or refurbishment buy to let’ that allows brokers to offer a complete solution to their client by issuing an offer for the bridge and the exit at the same time,” explains Forth.
This helps clients as they often decide not to seek short-term lending because of the uncertainty of not achieving a long-term exit. The bridge to let/refurbishment buy to let product reduces this risk, says Precise, giving clients more certainty, assuming there are no changes and the property meets the expected valuation following refurbishment.
The last few months have brought uncertainty for all given the pandemic. Forth says Precise has, like all lenders, found the crisis “challenging” but that it is “now coming out the other side”.
“Regulated bridging has been particularly strong since the Government introduced the stamp duty holiday,” Forth states. “Bridging can be particularly useful as a solution for delayed property purchases, if a chain has broken or completion is looking unlikely to be achieved within agreed deadlines.”
He believes that the pandemic has given the whole industry a push forward.
“The specialist market has seen a big increase in growth since 2016 when the PRA introduced changes to buy to lets via SS13/16. The pandemic has meant many clients need a solution that the high street is unable to offer,” he says. “This could be a buy to let or residential mortgage where the client needs an intermediary to take a view on credit blips, or the client is looking to increase their rental yield via an HMO or MUB. Recently we’ve seen clients use bridging to access quick funds in order to beat the stamp duty deadlines.”
Forth believes there is an increased confidence in the economy, and this is reflected in the new product ranges and higher LTVs that have recently been launched by many lenders. Last month Precise Mortgages reintroduced a maximum 80% LTV limit across a new range of 2- and 5-year fixed rate mortgages which feature fixed rates from 3.79%, and launched two new limited edition 5-year fixed rate buy to let mortgages aimed at customers looking for larger loan sizes of up to £1million at 3.34% fixed rate.
It currently offers an increased LTV option for residential clients at 85% and buy to let at 80%, which are at the same LTVs as pre-Covid.
Its buy to let range also features a top slicing option on all eligible personal ownership, limited company, portfolio and HMO applications. Top slicing is designed to enable customers to use surplus portfolio or earned disposable income to prove they can meet any financial stresses on a new loan application, rather than through the rental income of the property alone.
“Top slicing has always been a very popular option with brokers and is often cited as a reason that intermediaries come to us in the first place as it allows clients who have the income to look to increase their borrowing levels, regardless of taking a 2- or 5-year fixed product,” Forth says.
In addition, Precise Mortgages has recently appointed a new business development manager, Amanda Lammers, to strengthen its support for intermediaries in the London North West and East regions.
Precise Mortgages hopes that joining the Bridging Loan Directory will enable even more brokers to utilise its products and services.
“Joining makes perfect sense as not only are we experts in bridging but we cover many other lending types too. We see this as an opportunity to promote ourselves to potentially new brokers and maybe those who have used us in the past,” Forth explains.
David Craik is a freelance journalist writing news, feature articles, blogs and guides for national newspapers and magazines. His main areas of interest include finance, property and investments.