Product pricing still the key for brokers

This was followed by speed of processing (16%), technology (11%) and ease of processing (5%). Procuration fees were considered to be the least important factor when choosing a lender with 47% of intermediaries ranking them as such.

In terms of technology the factor of most importance to buy-to-let intermediaries is the ability to submit applications online, with 68% of respondents stating this as most important. 42% of respondents considered online KFIs to be the least important technological factor.

While intermediaries continue to have faith in the forward momentum of the buy-to-let market, with 42.6% expecting to write more business over the next three months (41.5% in May), their view of the housing market as a whole is more tempered. 57.4% of respondents expect house prices to remain the same (66% in May), but there has been a noticeable swing towards caution, with 22.2% of intermediaries predicting a slight decrease in house prices over the next three months (11.3% in May).

Buy-to-let intermediaries’ perception of the interest rate environment has also seen a reversal. While 42.6% believe that rates will stay the same (49.1% in May), a significant proportion (35.2%) predict that rates will decrease by 0.25% over the next three months (18.9% in May). This could be a factor in the respondents’ confidence in the buy-to-let market, as a downward move in interest rates could stimulate the housing market, and provoke more favourable rates from lenders. Buy-to-let business is still expected to be made up predominantly of remortgaging (44.6%), with loans to existing landlords expected to account for 40% of business.

Nicola Severn, Marketing Manager at Mortgage Trust, comments: “Mortgage Trust’s Buy-to-Let Intermediary Forecast shows that buy-to-let intermediaries are keen to offer their customers the best possible deals, and they reflect this ethic in their choice of lender. However, they also recognise the importance of service especially in terms of speed. Borrower satisfaction is paramount in the industry, and is a factor behind brokers’ faith in the sector, despite cooling predictions for the housing market as a whole. Intermediaries can boost business and please customers by recognising the advantages of remortgaging, and this area continues to be expected to provide the biggest business volumes in the months ahead. An increasing number of intermediaries are predicting interest rate falls, and if this occurs it will undoubtedly serve to stimulate business.”