Kensington Mortgages has confirmed that its application programming interface (API) link with Twenty7Tec’s Mortgage Apply software will go live in “a couple of weeks”.
The lender also revealed it has made a host of buy to let (BTL) criteria changes.
Kensington was confirmed as part of Twenty7Tec’s announcement in February with an estimated go live timeline of the second or third quarter of this year.
Speaking at Mortgage Solutions’ Buy to Let Market Forum in Manchester yesterday, new business director Craig McKinlay (pictured) confirmed it was almost ready to go live with the technology.
“We’ve got Mortgage Apply with Twenty7Tec going live in a couple of weeks, so you’ll be able to press a button in your fact find and it’ll put it all into the application form, so you won’t have to re-key everything,” he said.
“That will digitise everything at the front end, we then manually underwrite and then digitise at the back-end, but the key thing is to keep the underwriter involved and use their expertise.”
He added: “It’s trying to get the best of both worlds so we’re investing in technology so that everything up to the manual underwriters is as automated as possible.”
McKinlay also confirmed that Kensington has made a series of criteria changes to adapt to the growing complexity of the market.
The lender will now accept more types of properties such as cob and colt, timber frame and steel framed.
It has increased maximum loan to value (LTVs) to 85 per cent on standard buy to let and 80 per cent on houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
And the maximum age has been raised to 110.
“There’s no such thing as a simple BTL customer any more,” he continued.
“For example, people are looking to take their portfolio into retirement.
“So many people have poor pension provision, so they are using BTL to support their pension income, so we’ve changed our maximum age to 110.”
Regarding increasing LTVs, McKinlay added: “You clearly need a really good yield for an 80 per cent or 85 per cent LTV and you can achieve that around Manchester, so we do see quite a bit of business from around here.”
Buy to let is robust
McKinlay concluded by arguing that the death of BTL has been oversold and that the market is very robust.
“There is a really vibrant market, it’s definitely changing and the needs of people are changing, so it’s really important you keep hold of those changing needs,” he said.
“As long as you are in the right parts of the market where customers have got needs and tenants have got needs then I think you can do really well.
“Yes, things are continuing to get more complex, but complexity is a broker’s friend because that’s the value add which they can’t get from a comparison site or aggregator,” he concluded.