We all know that Covid-19 has changed business dynamics across a multitude of sectors and the mortgage market is certainly no different. All businesses have had to make a number of readjustments over this period and the emphasis on service and delivering the right kind of solutions in the right way has certainly risen.
Across the industry the trends which are emerging from a mixture of adversity and opportunity. Generally speaking, anyone associated with the housing and mortgage markets over the past 12 months can count themselves fortunate from a work perspective. Yes, we have all had to overcome our fair share of challenges, both from a business and personal standpoint. An already complex market has become even more complex. However, the continued government support and robust nature of the UK housing market has meant that it has largely remained ‘business as usual’ or ‘unusual’ at times for an industry, which plays a huge role in the UK economy. Inevitably, there will be pockets within the industry who have suffered more than others. Some landlords have had a rough time over this period, although others have been well placed to take advantage of opportunities as they arose.
Quotezone – which covered a sample of landlord insurance quotes from 2019 to 2020 – highlight that redundancies and furlough may have created an emerging trend of small and first-time landlords.
A recent spike emerged with properties owned for ‘less than one year’ seeing a 22 per cent year-on-year rise during the pandemic. The data also showed that the average age of a landlord in the UK is 51. It added that, with only 52 per cent of landlords using cash to purchase during 2020 – the lowest figure on record – buy-to-let is an increasingly viable option for many UK buyers. This data follows a report that an increasing number of buy-to-let mortgages have become available to first-time landlords.
According to Moneyfacts, around 65 per cent of buy-to-let mortgage deals – or 1,311 products – are now accessible to novice investors, compared to a year ago when around 61 per cent of the market was catering to first-time landlords.
This boost could well be down to the growing number of first-time landlords taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday, although a number of additional factors always need to be thrown into the mix. What is crystal clear is how healthy the BTL market remains and how opportunities will continue to emerge for all types of landlords, investors and developers moving forward. And for that we should remain truly thankful.