Broker confidence remains high year-on-year despite impact of Covid-19

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  • 71% of brokers are confident about the market in 2021, according to Masthaven’s latest Broker Beat, a fall of just 6% from January 2020
  • The research from Masthaven also found that 87% of intermediaries felt confident about their company’s prospects next year, down just 3% from January 2020
  • Brokers said first charge mortgages for home movers was an area of the market experiencing the most growth, followed by remortgages
New research from specialist lender, Masthaven Bank, has found that confidence in the broker market remains high despite the challenges posed by 2020 and the ongoing pandemic. The survey of 265 intermediaries found that almost three quarters (71%) said they were confident about the market in 2021. Indeed, confidence has remained resilient this year in spite of COVID-19, with just a 6% fall since Masthaven’s last Broker Beat survey in January 2020, when 77% of brokers said they were confident about the market’s prospects.
Confidence was also high when it came to company prospects for next year, with 87% of intermediaries feeling confident about their firm’s prospects next year, down just 3% from the last survey in January 2020. Nearly two-thirds (63%) expect to see revenues rise in the coming year, with 36% predicting growth to be in double figures.
When asked about the challenges they face, almost one in three (30%) of brokers said that economic uncertainty was the biggest challenge their business faced in the next six months. Almost a quarter (23%) reported that they were concerned about lenders' service levels and 19% said they believed that the biggest challenge they face is local or national lockdowns due to COVID-19.
Growth areas
Despite these challenges, intermediaries also highlighted areas of the market where they are seeing growth in the market. One in five (21%) said first charge mortgages for home movers was the area of the market experiencing the most growth. This was followed by remortgages on 14% and specialist mortgages on 12%.
When asked to consider which areas of the market needed greater innovation to grow more quickly, 23% of intermediaries said first charge mortgages for first time buyers, 19% said specialist mortgages and 11% stated the later life lending sector required innovation.
Rob Barnard, Director of Intermediaries at Masthaven, said:
“Despite the challenges of 2020, confidence among brokers has remained remarkably resilient. This is testament to the strong collaborative effort between brokers and lenders in an unprecedented time. The industry has demonstrated this year that it can continue to operate in extraordinary circumstances and provide the support customers need.
“As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the finances of people across the UK, brokers will be key in helping many people who no longer fit the model of a ‘vanilla’ borrower unlock affordable finance. Looking ahead, tough economic conditions and a potential no-deal Brexit may mean more challenges ahead. However, knowing that brokers are optimistic about 2021 should give lenders and customers greater confidence in the market and provide an opportunity for the market to expand and innovate further.”
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About the research   
The research was conducted by Masthaven, with 265 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 2020’s Most Innovative Digital Retail Bank UK by CFI, the third 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. It 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. In 2020 it featured in Forbes as one of the top 10 fastest growing companies in the UK. In 2020, it featured in Forbes as one of the top 10 fastest growing companies in the UK.
The bank is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.