"A significant number of criteria enhancements have been designed and implemented to enable borrowers with complex incomes, or for those returning to work from furlough, to fit underwriting boundaries."
The current residential market is a real melting pot when it comes to differing types of expectation, demand and activity. In terms of activity, data emerging from the summer months highlighted lending levels we dare not even dream about back in March/April.
This sustained summer demand has continued, with recent data from Zoopla suggesting a total of 418,000 properties worth £112 billion are currently progressing through the sales pipeline, amounting to a 50% uptick in volume compared to the same period in 2019.
Many lenders – Foundation Home Loans included - are busy logging record months and intermediaries don’t seem to have enough time in the day to deal with the number of enquiries they are receiving. Despite all links in the mortgage chain already operating at full capacity, I’m sure the market breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Government confirmed the decision had been made to keep the UK’s housing market open during the second national lockdown. Any additional obstacles for borrowers, lenders, surveyors, conveyancers and intermediaries would have been difficult to overcome.
Focusing on servicing the needs of borrowers, I remember seeing a tweet from Andrew Montlake, managing director at Coreco, a few weeks ago which simply said: ‘So how is everyone? What’s going on out there? Starting to quieten down or still manic?’
The replies from various brokers further emphasised just how busy they currently are and it was interesting to see a number of responses which suggested an uplift in the more non-standard or quirky residential enquiries. This is a trend we have also noticed, and it’s a trend which is shining an even brighter spotlight on the more specialist residential market.
While mainstream lending options are still no-go areas for many borrowers, it’s important for them – and for the intermediary market - to realise that viable, responsible and accessible solutions are readily available - if they know where to look.
A significant number of criteria enhancements have been designed and implemented to enable borrowers with complex incomes, or for those returning to work from furlough, to fit underwriting boundaries. Product offerings have also evolved to ensure credit-worthy borrowers – who may have suffered from some recent or historical credit blips – can still secure competitively-priced mortgage finance.
Let me reiterate that self-employment and many forms of income and credit-related issues do not represent the barrier to homeownership they once might have. A variety of specialist lenders are armed with highly competitive, tailored mortgage options to match what may seem like extra-ordinary borrowing requirements. And this is a message which we need to continue spreading in order to help even more borrowers access the types of property-related solutions they demand and deserve in the current economic landscape.