A look into our crystal ball, 2018, key trends to look out for

As the unpredictable, uncertain 2017 draws to a close, we have reflected on the year behind us and have taken a brief look at the key trends to look out for in 2018.

  1. Without doubt the housing sector will remain top of the government’s agenda in 2018, ahead of Brexit. With many considering supply shortages as the biggest threat to the UK economy, in our recent article entitled “Without the right foundations, 300,000 new homes will simply not get built” we consider the true changes needed to boost housing supply in 2018, including proper collaboration between the public and private sector and proper reform of the planning system. Could 2018 be the year that the government introduces significant changes to truly drive the housebuilding sector forward?
  2. Should economic growth exceed expectations in 2018, it is likely the Monetary Policy Committee will raise interest rates, with some predicting a double rate rise over the course of the year. Whilst the Royal Wedding in May is predicted to boost the UK economy, a rate rise will also greatly depend on whether inflation has now reached a peak. However, a 25 – 50 bps rate rise to historically low rates, is unlikely to have any significant consequences to the housing market in the short term. In the third quarter of the year, the Building Societies Association reported that 90% of new mortgages taken out with Building Societies were on a fixed rate. The real impact of rate rises and the time to truly be concerned is yet to come, when, in 2/3/5 years’ time these fixed rates expire, and homeowners find themselves on much higher variable rates or having to choose between other higher rate products.
  3. A year ago, we predicted a continued rise in the Build-to-Rent sector as stretched affordability in certain parts of the country would leave the desire for home-ownership as a distant dream for many, increasing demand for quality rented accommodation. Affordability issues have not disappeared and therefore this sector continues to grow, and we anticipate this to remain the case in 2018.
  4. The main tranche of the market where we expect further strong activity is that of the first-time buyers (FTBs). In 2017 FTB activity was significant; according to UK Finance, there was a 10.5% increase in the number of loans for house purchase to FTBs in October 2017 when compared to a year earlier. We expect this trend to continue boosted by the extension in Help-to-Buy and importantly, the scrapping of stamp duty for FTBs up to £300k on properties valued less than £500k. This should also encourage developers to build units below this threshold as this, in the right location, is where they should find a steady stream of demand.
  5. And lastly, whilst market growth will be muted in 2018, we do anticipate above-average growth in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humberside. Regions where affordability is most stretched, including London and the South East, are likely to underperform the rest of the country. However, even within this part of the country, there will continue to be some growth in some locations, such as in the up and coming London boroughs, those benefiting from the Elizabeth Line, and along the commuter belt where prices will remain under upward pressure because of supply shortages.

NEWS: Maslow Capital strengthens team with seven new appointments

Maslow expands its team to support current and future growth

The new hires add depth across origination, risk, marketing and operations, providing the necessary resources to grow the business whilst delivering exceptional service standards to developers.

Kevin Manners

Has been appointed as Finance Director and will take responsibility for operations, cash flow management and servicing.  After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2008, Kevin moved into the civil engineering sector joining a private equity-backed construction firm. He then joined McLaren Automotive as it embarked on its journey from start up to becoming an established manufacturer of sports and super cars.  He held a number of positions in the UK banking sector prior to joining Maslow.

Andrew Pinfield

Joins Maslow as Head of Risk to add further strength to the company’s underwriting and portfolio management capabilities.  He brings to Maslow more than 25 years of banking experience, following successful tenures in property finance, risk, analytics and portfolio management, holding senior positions at RBS, Citi, HSBC and NatWest.

Michael Kearney

Forms part of Maslow’s origination team after more than a decade as an analyst and a portfolio manager with ANZ Banking Group in Australia, where he oversaw the growth of a A$1.4 billion national loan portfolio of real estate investments and development facilities.

Thomas Ahearne

Joins Maslow as a Deal Analyst from United Trust Bank, where he specialised in property development, before broadening his experience as an analyst within the structured finance group.  Tom successfully contributed to the rapid growth of the structured finance desk, with a portfolio now valued in excess of £100 million.

Wojciech Chrobak

Joins Maslow as a Finance Analyst from State Street Bank, where he was a manager in the performance and analytics team. Previous to that, Wojciech spent four years at Lionsgate Asset Management – a fund of hedge funds – where he worked on a number of projects in finance, client reporting and due diligence before moving to the research team.

Karen Brown

Joins Maslow as a consultant having previously worked at the London Stock Exchange Group. Karen brings more than a decade’s experience in developing and implementing a broad range of specialist systems for the financial services sector.  Karen was responsible for optimising LSE Group’s London and Paris multichannel platforms and she will support Maslow’s growth ambitions by enhancing system automation.

Gayleen Huggins

Has been appointed as Maslow’s marketing manager, overseeing the company’s external communications, marketing and advertising activity.  Gayleen previously worked with MYJAR, an innovative fintech lending firm and for various property start-up brands founded by The Richmond Group.

Today’s appointments underline the long-term potential seen in the alternative lending sector.  The experience that these new colleagues bring to Maslow is significant and will help accelerate new originations, improve service and add operational capacity to handle the growth in lending activities.

Maslow Capital has to date enabled developers to realise projects with a collective GDV in excess of £1.2 billion, covering more than 2,300 new properties spanning 2.3 million sq. ft of new accommodation throughout England and Wales.  Maslow has partnered with TPG Sixth Street Partners, part of TPG, global investment business with $73 billion of assets under management.

Contact details for the team can be found on the team page.