Although 2019 proved to be a year of economic and political uncertainty for many optimism among those in the specialist lending market has increased, Masthaven Bank’s Broker Beat has found.
Whilst 44% of intermediaries feel that Brexit is the biggest barrier to growth in the market, 77% are confident about the market’s prospects over the next 12 months.
This represents an increase of 26% on the positive sentiment recorded in 2018.
Rob Barnard, director of intermediaries at Masthaven, said: “Advisers have proved to be resilient to the pessimism and anxiety that’s characterised so much of the discussion over the last three years.
“We can attribute this confidence to the strong relationships between lenders and brokers.
“Good lenders have been listening to broker feedback about the market and customer needs, and have reflected this in their products and rates – meaning brokers can serve their clients with diversified products whilst boosting revenues.
“Brokers continue to be the key that unlocks affordable finance for many borrowers who were previously locked out of the mainstream lending market.
“Data shows that intermediaries take on 74% of mortgage lending by volume.
“Knowing these brokers are optimistic about the year ahead should fill both lenders and customers with confidence in the market and maintain the high expectations which the specialist market continues to deliver on, year after year.”
A fifth (21%) feel lending criteria is stifling growth however a majority (90%) are confident about their firm’s prospects over the next 12 months.
More than eight out of 10 (82%) expect to see revenues rise in the coming year, and most predicted growth to be in double figures.
Of those expecting growth, 26% expect their revenues to surge by more than a fifth.
Almost a quarter of brokers (23%) said that remortgage activity is the area that’s seen the most growth in 2019.
This has in part been linked to potential sellers choosing to wait out the uncertainty in the market and improve or extend their existing homes instead.
Some 12% of brokers were also upbeat about second charge finance prospects, which can be a more cost-effective option than remortgaging.
The second biggest growth area was later life lending (18%) followed by bridging (13%).