Professional landlords call for buy to let manual underwriting process

Over a third of landlords in the UK want buy to let lenders to apply a manual underwriting process as they struggle to obtain lending in the High Street.

Overall 42% say that they have struggles to secure a buy to let mortgage from a mainstream lender, according to a property investor survey from MT Finance, with 54% citing affordability criteria as the primary barrier.

The poll also found that 32% were affected by age restrictions while 14% had insufficient deposit capital.

Some 46% of those unable to obtain a buy to let mortgage filled the funding gap with other sources of liquidity with 50% opting for bridging loans, 34% refinancing through a specialist lender, and 16% opting for a secured loan.

As a result, 58% of the 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 to better support them, 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%.

‘The results from our survey reflects the impact of stricter affordability and stress testing from High Street lenders on professional property investors’ ability to obtain mainstream funding,’ said Gareth Lewis, commercial director at MT Finance.

‘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,’ he explained.

‘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,’ he added.