"The need for reliable, transparent, and quick access to funds is ever-critical"
Over a third of professional landlords want buy-to-let lenders to apply a manual underwriting process as they struggle to obtain buy-to-let mortgages off the high street, according to research from MT Finance.
Its survey found that almost half (42%) of property investors said they had struggled to secure a mainstream buy-to-let mortgage in the last 12 months, with 54% citing affordability criteria as the primary barrier to mainstream funding.
This was followed by age restrictions at 32% and insufficient deposit capital at 14%.
Yet 46% of those unable to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage were able to fill the funding gap with other sources of liquidity. 50% opted for bridging loans, 34% refinanced through a specialist buy-to-let lender, and 16% opted for a secured loan.
As a result, 58% of the 125 property investors surveyed do not think buy-to-let lenders are doing enough to support them.
When asked what mainstream buy-to-let lenders could do, 36% said applying a manual underwriting process for professional landlords would better support them, followed by increasing LTV thresholds at 32% and relaxing age restrictions at 26%.
Gareth Lewis, commercial director at MT Finance, said: “The results from our Q1 2019 Property Investor Survey reflects the impact of stricter affordability and stress testing from high-street lenders on professional property investors’ ability to obtain mainstream funding.
“The need for reliable, transparent, and quick access to funds is ever-critical and specialist finance, such as bridging loans, will continue to pick up when a more personalised approach to underwriting is required.
“With highly professional specialist lenders offering flexible products at competitive rates, bridging finance has become an attractive proposition to those property investors who are looking to expand their portfolio and need certainty when conducting their business and who often need to move swiftly to capitalise on an opportunity.”