Fleet Mortgages has said it will hit its lending targets for 2015.
In the nine months to the end of September this year Fleet Mortgages had £800m worth of buy-to-let business put through its system by intermediaries.
The buy-to-let lender has now passed its target yearly run rate of £450m of completions and has set itself a renewed 2016 target of £750m of lending.
The third quarter of the year has seen a 55% quarter-on-quarter growth in applications with the product split being approximately 50% standard buy-to-let, 25% limited company and 25% HMO business.
In recent months Fleet Mortgages has seen a noticeable rise in limited company enquiries which the lender puts down to the interest generated by the government’s decision to cut tax relief on buy-to-let mortgage interest payments between 2017 and 2020.
The cut is not applicable to buy-to-let properties within a limited company structure and Fleet Mortgages believes more landlord borrowers will look to explore this option for existing and new properties within their portfolio.
The lender has recently increased the number of limited company buy-to-let products it offers and it expects this part of the market to grow during 2016. Next year will also see Fleet Mortgages move into further underserved niche areas of the sector including larger portfolio lending for professional landlords, semi-commercial and eventually full commercial.
At present Fleet Mortgages is developing its systems and processes to deal with these new launches which are likely to be ready from Q2 2016.
Bob Young (pictured), CEO of Fleet Mortgages, said: “It nearly goes without saying but we are incredibly pleased with the way the business has progressed throughout 2015. Indeed to have a new lender up and running, and breaking even in less than 12 months, is quite frankly astonishing. Last month we increased our cash in the bank and will continue to do so going forward.
“The intermediary interest, the placed applications, and our lending volumes are right on line with our expectations but nonetheless we feel they are impressive from a standing start, and show that with the right proposition, experience, service and products you are able to gain traction in this market quickly. In a sense we are operating as a David in a world of Goliaths and I think we all know how this turned out.
“We’ve been particularly pleased with the quality of business we’ve attracted, which has been much higher than even we expected and has allowed us to make some significant criteria changes recently such as increasing the maximum loan value and the maximum loan exposure for new borrowers. Recruitment remains a key focus for us as we add quality individuals to the team in order to maintain our service levels. We aim for a 24-hour turnaround in terms of DIPs, applications, valuation received and issuing the offer, and therefore we are bringing on board dedicated individuals like our existing staff in order to continue operating in this fashion.
“Fleet Mortgages is incredibly fortunate to have a great team, a lot of experience and fantastic partners in BlackRock who have been very supportive of our plans. A big thank you must also go to our distributor partners and the individual advisers who have engaged with us wholeheartedly. To have achieved the lending volumes at the credit quality we have, and to be profitable within 12 months is a staggering achievement – one I always knew was possible but to actually have done it is very gratifying.
“We now look forward to the next year where we will continue to focus on maintaining our commitment to the intermediary sector and ensuring we continue to deliver the buy-to-let products clients want and need.”