Broker confidence holding up despite uncertainty

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Rob Barnard Masthaven

Intermediaries remain confident in the mortgage market’s prospects for the next 12 months, despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, research has found.

In a survey of more than 200 intermediaries conducted by Masthaven Bank in May, 71 per cent of intermediaries said they were either confident (65 per cent) or very confident (6 per cent) in the market’s prospects for the next 12 months, while a quarter (25 per cent) said they were unsure.

Only three per cent of intermediaries surveyed said they were not confident in the market’s prospects for the coming year.

Rob Barnard, pictured, Director of Intermediaries, Masthaven Bank said:

“Broker confidence is holding up well and that’s such an important part of the market, as it directly feeds through into the conversations intermediaries are having with customers. Now that the housing market has reopened and with the news that mortgage payment relief may be extended to help those customers in need, it’s good to see positive sentiment for the next twelve months from the intermediary community.”

The survey also found that more than half (51 per cent) of specialist lending intermediaries are now using video calls to liaise with their customers, while 42 per cent are sending regular email updates. A small proportion of brokers have introduced live chat platforms on their websites (4 per cent) or extended their opening hours (2 per cent) since the start of the pandemic.

Nearly a third (32 per cent) of specialist lending intermediaries said that they are recommending lenders based on their access to reliable funding.

Jon Hall, Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy CEO, Masthaven Bank said:

“Masthaven has remained open for business throughout the crisis. We have continued to work with intermediary partners to ensure they have access to a good range of competitive products. We have adapted our service offerings, launching a fee-free remortgage range in response to broker demand and increased our use of AVMs where physical valuations have not been possible. Our offices may be closed but we remain open for business.”

Masthaven recently announced it would be accepting desktop AVMs on bridging finance cases up to 60% LTV (previously the limit was 50%) and has increased the maximum loan amount from £500,000 to £1m on single or multiple properties. Earlier this month, Masthaven introduced AVMs for the first time on first charge residential purchases, buy-to-let remortgages and buy-to-let purchases.