We are nearing the end of what has been an extraordinary year. Last December, we never would have anticipated that the speed of change we’ve seen in the housing market over the last six months, would be more than the last six years.
Recovery has been stronger than expected. Some sectors are doing well; fortunately, the housing market being one of them, managing to bounce back and adapt to a new normal, along with the help of government support too. Unlike others, however, which will unfortunately continue to experience challenges for months to come.
House prices and economic growth follow a close relationship. We have seen huge appetite for property and experienced some of our busiest months on record for new applications. As we see measures easing again, alongside the recent vaccination news, at last, some form of revival seems to be feeding through. We will hopefully, in time, be able to open the economy again in a controlled environment.
At Kensington, we have tried to keep in line with recent market optimism. After our successful launch in Scotland two years ago, we are pleased to announce our latest launch into Northern Ireland – which has also come at a perfect time ahead of Kensington’s 25th birthday! After a challenging year, we fully encourage this festive cheer! We’re proud to be the first specialist mortgage provider to enter this market and the only specialist provider to now operate across the whole of the UK.
Although a small market, the Northern Ireland mortgage space has been growing over the last few years. Northern Ireland is also home to a rising population of self-employed workers, new business owners, and entrepreneurs. However, despite this growth, the market has not kept up with the evolving needs of these borrowers, who do not fit traditional lending criteria. The space is largely occupied by high-street banks and building societies – so there is an opportunity here to provide specialist, flexible solutions that do not currently exist.
We understand Northern Ireland is a fundamentally underserved customer group and we already have a large portfolio of customers there, so we have existing experience in successfully servicing that customer base. Moving forward, we hope to fully integrate our ‘head and heart’ approach, in tandem with our diverse product range.
If you are a broker and looking to submit business with us for Northern Ireland, we recently launched our new broker portal where you can simply register online as an intermediary or a broker admin. The minimum packaging requirements are proof of income, proof of deposits, declaration, and evidence of 3 months of mortgage payments is also required.
And if you are a first-time buyer looking to make your first step onto the property ladder, or thinking about your next move as a homeowner, check out our website to find out more about Kensington and how we can help you.
Vicki Harris has 20 years of experience working in challenger financial services brands, working across asset management, banking and specialist lending. She is Chief Commercial Officer of Kensington Mortgages, the UK’s leading non-bank specialist mortgage lender.