There are many concerns in the current climate relating to job security and especially how lenders look at the self-employed following lockdown with regards to consistency of ongoing income and customer base.
The growth of self-employment, contracting and the gig economy has continued to challenge and change the make-up of the UK workforce over the past few years. Government statistics for 2019 saw the number of self-employed people rise to 4.93 million, some 125,000 more than a year earlier and this is a number which is only expected to grow.
We’re seeing a greater number of clients who are not only self-employed
As a specialist mortgage broker, we’re seeing a greater number of clients who are not only self-employed but who have a variety of income streams and different ways in which they generate their income. As the raising of the Stamp Duty threshold is set to encourage more first-time buyers into the housing market, and homemovers to take the next step up the housing market, it’s vital that mortgage brokers are adept at meeting the ever-changing demands of such borrowers.
Moving forward, an even greater proportion of homebuyers will have a non-traditional income history and many differing forms of current income for lenders to contend with. Despite this sustained shift, it largely remains the case that those with a salaried or traditional source of income are far more likely to be eligible for mainstream mortgage deals than those with complex income scenarios. Having said that, there also remains a misconception that those missing out on the perceived favourable terms of high street lenders are unable to get a mortgage. Thankfully, there are a healthy number of lenders – some on the high street, many more not on the high street – who have competitive product ranges and flexible criteria in place which can service the needs of the self-employed workforce or those with multiple income streams. A large proportion of these products are available through specialist lenders and some can only be accessed via a mortgage broker.
The rise of self-employment and the gig economy
It’s always been slightly more complicated for self-employed people to obtain a mortgage and – especially over the short-term – this may get even tougher when you consider additional Covid-19 complications. The rise of self-employment and the gig economy will undoubtedly continue. And with many underlying lending restrictions still in place, especially at higher loan-to-value levels, this really does magnify the importance of good, professional advice in helping self-employed clients and those with more complex incomes to achieve their homeownership goals.