14 December 2017

Flat market predicted for 2018. although Technology will play a big part. Have a great Christmas!

So, as I pen my last column of the year, I reflect on a year that has had many ups and also many downs.  We can’t ignore the current housing shortage or the severe lack of help to first time buyers, even allowing for the recent stamp duty changes.  On the upside, and despite the bank base rate increasing, there are still plenty of good rates to be had and we’ve seen a good number of new lenders launch.  All great news.

2018 is set to be another flat market, with overall mortgage volumes estimated to remain circa £250bn.  However, with the onset of technology and more specialist requirements, the mix of the market is set to change, and many lenders will fall short of their targets, unless they evolve with the digital era.  It really is a case of watch this space as some lenders may just get left behind.
Those who will win will be the ones offering quality technology, but also the human touch for those who prefer or need it.  Sometimes, people just want to talk to people.

On a personal note, thank you for reading my column, it is appreciated. Mortgages can be a dull subject and I’ve tried to provide an unbiased insight to what happens in the mortgage world (and tried to keep it upbeat!).  However, I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks without a production deadline to meet!

Thank you to everyone who has instructed AToM to source and arrange their mortgage during the past twelve months. It has been a fantastic year and we have enjoyed substantial growth in volume, completions and headcount in the AToM team located between our two Horsham offices.  They are a truly awesome and knowledgeable group of people.

We were honoured to be nominated in a number of awards this year and win three major accolades including Best Bridging & Commercial Broker at the Mortgage Strategy awards, Best Use of Technology in the National Mortgage Adviser awards and most recent, Best HMO Distributor from Precise Mortgages.  Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

On behalf of all the staff and directors at AToM, we wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and a Relaxing and Prosperous New Year!  Bring on 2018!

07 December 2017

AToM - Best Buy to Let Distributor for HMOs 2017!

There are many awards issued throughout the year in various industries.  Some you are nominated for.  Some you can voted for yourself.  Others are awarded to celebrate the volume and quality of the business you produce.  Thankfully, the latter applies to the latest award that AToM has just received.   At a lavish awards ceremony held at the fantastic Weston Park Stately Home in the Midlands, AToM was confirmed as the Best Buy to Let Distributor for HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) in 2017 from specialist lender Precise Mortgages.  This was superb recognition for the amazing and highly knowledgeable staff we have at AToM and specifically those who specialise in the Buy to Let sector.  Well done team!

I mention credit scoring/searching quite a bit, but it really is so important in the current financial world when lenders are deciding to lend to you, or not.  Most lenders credit score applications based upon the amount of credit you have, whether you are on the electoral role and your recent payment profile on any existing credit.   The number of recent credit searches you have on file will also have an impact.  So, over the festive period, just be wary when getting quotes for car or home insurance, mobiles, etc that each of these will register a search against you, especially if you’re planning to review your mortgage in the near future.

We have seen a number of good product innovations during the last few weeks.  One that sticks out is that Precise Mortgages have recently launched a new buy to let that allows the customers personal income to top up any rental shortfall.  Usually the mortgage on a buy to let is calculated on the rental it achieves. Occasionally this may not achieve the loan required.  So, to allow surplus income to be used to ‘top this up’ is a great addition from Precise. 

The Buy to Let sector generally is becoming very competitive and despite an increasing number of options and new lenders launching in to the market, demand is still increasing.   Whilst first time buyers struggle to get on the property ladder (hopefully the recent stamp duty changes may help?) and savings interest rates remain low, many continue to invest long term in to property and there's no immediate reason why this should change.  However, with all of the recent tax changes on Buy to Lets, you should not only seek professional mortgage advice, but also tax advice from an accountant who understands property.  Get it right first time.