Brokers cite regulation as biggest challenge

Brokers cite regulation as biggest challenge

Regulatory changes are at the forefront of challenges facing property investors this year, according to Shawbrook Bank.

The bank’s poll of more than 300 brokers found half of them see regulation as the issue that will impact their clients the most, while around a fifth think that a change in interest rates could be the most important issue.

Additional licensing is also expected to be an issue for brokers and clients, with a tenth expecting the changes to present their biggest challenge for the year ahead.

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Brokers are most apprehensive about increased Financial Conduct Authority governance and further lending restrictions in the market, at 39 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.

They also raised concerns about the new stamp duty levy from April, with 80 per cent expecting the changes to impact negatively on the housing market and the lending environment generally.

However, despite all this, brokers remain positive, with 85 per cent stating they are confident about business growth this year.

More than half believe that the new help-to-buy shared ownership scheme will have a positive impact on the housing market.

Nearly two-thirds favour the new Help to Buy London programme, and three-quarters believe the government’s pledge of 400,000 new homes by 2020 will provide a boost to the market and lending environment.

Karen Bennett, sales and marketing director at Commercial Mortgages, said that while it is obvious that 2016 will see some big changes in the buy-to-le market, it appears that brokers are not buying in to the commentary that the market will suffer.

She said: “The majority of our broker partners are confident that the market is one in which their business can grow and buy-to-let presents many opportunities to investors.

“Lenders, brokers and customers will have new factors to consider but the outlook for 2016 remains positive.”

Pete Mugleston, director of Online Mortgage Advisor, said his firm has seen a significant increase in enquiries from people looking to purchase within a limited company, because of taxation changes affecting buy-to-let.

He said: “That will certainly impact on potential and current buyers. We have had an enquiry from a customer with 12 properties selling to a limited company, of which he is director, because taxation will be better for him.”