LFP153 – Landbay & BTL Mortgages, A Case Study of Finteching Pre- & Post- Corona w/Julian Cork COO

In LFP152 we took a strategic look at the post-Covid landscape. In this show Julian Cork, COO of Landbay, guides us through the tactical responses by one of the UK’s most solid Fintechs – £1/2bn buy-to-let mortgages written to date and zero losses.


However as to risk “the past is not necessarily a guide to the future” and in a market that has frozen it is very challenging to operate.

We cover many aspects starting with a background to the UK BTL market and the strategic shifts that were already in play right through to the importance of maintaining not just business dialogue between staff but that important social glue social dialogue too.

Topics discussed include:

  • memories of shaking hands even just a few weeks ago
  • ensuring some space between work and home life when working at home
  • the division between the super-busy and becalmed workers of the world right now
  • listening to the LFP in the Australian outback and how seminal that was to Julian’s career
  • Julian’s career journey
  • changes that the government had made to BTL market in recent years (mortgage tax relief, stamp duty, tightening of lending criteria) and how that impacted the market
  • main move is a growth in limited company borrowing and shift to portfolio landlords from single-property landlords
  • 17% of landlords have 5 or more properties which equates to nearly 1/2 of all private tenancies
  • 45% of landlords have one property and that’s about 20% of tenancies
  • private rental sector, about 5 million units, is about 20% of UK housing stock
  • been growing since 2006 and private has recently overtaken public rental sector
  • according to RICS another 1.8 million rental properties will be required by 2025
  • ~£260bn of BTL mortgages in the UK (!), about £30bn is “specialist BTL” Landbays area of expertise – held in SPVs or limited companies, multi-occupancy, small blocks etc
  • Landbay is forecasting that as a result of all the changes the specialist percentage of the overall will increase in forthcoming years
  • the impossibility of calculating risk when a market has stopped trading
  • no price transparency – also makes it a huge problem to underwrite new debt
  • forecasts vary wildly re property prices going forwards
  • we don’t live in a free market world right now – much more WW2 command and control
  • mortgage holidays and changes in rental rights
  • Landbay’s changes to its staff – some furloughing (esp in underwriting and sales) , small salary reductions across the board
  • the challenges of having zero visibility on the future as the government has not announced the plans
  • “We have to plan for the worst and hope for the best” – which of course slows all companies down and hence the economy
  • how Landbay are approaching the whole range of staff issues right now
  • a whole range of tools they use to help communication
  • the importance of remembering that people are human beings not just users of technology
  • the importance of “inessential” (ie social) communication as well as business conversations
  • shoutouts for mortgage brokers – Landbay’s goal is to be the provider of choice
  • shoutout for investors looking for high quality assets
  • how long before handshakes return to business meetings in London?

And much much more 🙂

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