Digital change raising the bar for lenders, says CML

Digital change is radically altering consumer expectations in the mortgage market and “raising the bar” for what borrowers expect from their home buying experience, according to research published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Launched at the recent CML Mortgage

Tech UK conference in London, the research ‘Digital Change and Mortgage Borrowers’ iterates that technology has the potential to differentiate what individual lenders have to offer to customers, enhancing the competitiveness of the UK mortgage market. The research, which was conducted for the CML by associate Accenture, included interviews with firms and customers from across the mortgage sector. The researchers looked at developments in mortgage markets around the world, and how technology is affection other industries. Figures showed that 84 per cent of companies believed technology could improve customer experiences and relationships, with 76 per cent believing it could improve their own operational capabilities. Researchers also found that 68 per cent thought technology could put customers in greater control, and 40 per cent believed it had the potential to unlock the power of data. Using apps, customers can now arrange and manage their mortgages to digital property searches, with technology able to deliver automated decision making. However, the research also highlights the challenges for lenders in a market in which two-thirds of customers prefer to speak to an adviser about complex products, and value being able to ask questions and receive and personalised service. Other challenges technology presents include the limitations imposed by legacy thinking and systems, the need for external collaboration and to keep pace with change, and the way in which compliance with


MORTGAGE MARKET Paul Smee CML director general

necessary regulation can inhibit the pace of digital development.

Commenting on the research, CML director general Paul Smee said: “This report highlights the enormous potential of technology in the mortgage market. “It is already enhancing what lenders are able to offer their customers, as well as improving the efficiency of work behind the scenes.”

He gave a word of advice: “The pace of change will not slow, and firms will need to ensure that their plans for developing technology are underpinned by the clearest possible understanding of all the implications of digital change.”

Survey reveals trades bullish about Brexit

Nearly half (45 per cent) of those working in a trade occupation believe their business won’t make a loss as a result of the country’s decision to leave the EU. A survey of trade industry workers, conducted for TradePoint, revealed that while 30 per cent of respondents believe the effects of Brexit have already started to be seen in the UK, it still hasn’t taken hold for those working in the trade. The main concern raised by 21 per cent of those in a trade was the loss of skilled workers, yet 34 per cent of respondents had “no concerns” over Brexit, and 43 per cent of those in a trade who voted to leave the EU said Brexit presented no concern. 25 per cent of respondents envisaged better trade deals with the rest of the world as the main opportunity for the trade industry as a result of Brexit.

79 per cent of leave voters in the trade industry agreed the sector will be able to support itself when it comes to sourcing materials, whereas for those who voted to remain, only 42 percent agreed. Lisa Wise, marketing manager at

TradePoint, said: “While the effects of Brexit are still yet to be determined, we are glad to see that those working in the trade are positive their sector and the industry will continue to grow from strength to strength.”

£70bn to be invested in UK Build to Rent market

£70bn of institutional funding is set to be invested in the UK’s Build to Rent market, says a report published by Knight Frank. Investment is expected to climb from £25bn in 2016 to £70bn by 2022, according to the report. The model is well-established in North America, where it is known as multifamily housing.

Build to Rent has been praised for its ability to offer Americaninspired hotel style rented housing, providing renters with a choice outside of buy-to-let landlords. The report predicts that the proportion of households in the private rented sector will rise to 24 per cent by 2021, with some 68 per cent of renters currently expecting to still be living in the rental sector in three years’ time.

The survey results reiterated that rental

affordability remains the key concern for tenants looking for rental property. Darryl Flay, chief executive at Essential

Living, commented on the company’s approach when Building to Rent: “Our ambition is to provide professional services, onsite management and a range of lounges and workspaces that enable renters to think of the whole building as their home.” Some such properties include onsite residents teams to encourage a hotel feel, whether it’s to mount a TV or collect a parcel.

He believes this approach is only possible by developing and designing buildings “specifically for renters.”


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