Positive sentiment among specialist brokers rises to 90% according to our latest Broker Beat

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Although 2019 proved to be a year of economic and political uncertainty for many in the UK, optimism among those in the specialist lending market has increased. New research from Masthaven shows that while 44% of intermediaries feel that Brexit is the biggest barrier to growth in the market, well ahead of the 21% who feel lending criteria is stifling growth, over three-quarters (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.
This confidence wasn’t limited to market activity. Of the 217 intermediaries surveyed, 90% were also confident about their firm’s prospects over the next 12 months. More than eight out of ten (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. 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%).

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[1]. 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.”
About the research  
The research was conducted by Masthaven, with 217 individuals working within the specialist lending industry. Respondents were asked questions regarding thoughts on the mortgage market and direction their company will be moving in over the next twelve months.  
About Masthaven Bank
Masthaven launched as a retail bank in 2016 and offers award-winning saving and lending products. Prior to that, Masthaven Finance has provided a flexible and personalised approach to bridging loans and secured lending since 2004. Today, the bank’s knowledgeable and experienced specialists are committed to providing customers with flexible and fixed term savings accounts, bridging loans, development finance and mortgages.
Masthaven was recognised as 2019’s Most Innovative Digital Retail Bank UK by CFI, the second consecutive win for the category. Masthaven won Best Second Charge Mortgage Lender in the Your Mortgage Awards 2018/19 and Customer Service of the Year in the Money Age Mortgage Awards in 2019.
Masthaven was also awarded Best Specialist Lender in the Moneynet Personal Finance Awards 2019. Masthaven Finance has featured in 2015’s The Sunday Times’ Virgin Fast Track 100 (at number 81) and the bank ranked 240 in Financial Times’ FT1000 list published in 2017. The bank is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.
Gaby Bryson, Rostrum
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