Meet the broker… Penny House Financial Services

Meet Sofia Jones of Penny House Financial Services

Tell us about your business?

Penny House Financial Services are a directly authorised firm. We are turning five this year and I am on a big mission to grow the company, three new starters so far since March and looking for more great advisers to join 🙂

Where are you based and where do you operate geographically?

We have a registered office in London but the company was set up with the view of being able to offer mortgage advice anywhere in the UK and so our advisers work remotely all over the UK.

This allows me to recruit great talent irrespective of location and also promotes flexible working which helps our staff and our clients.

What are the main issues impacting your local market?

Affordability seems to be the main issue impacting Oxfordshire (where I am based) but this is true for a lot of the UK.

The properties on the market can be above applicants’ affordability and so we are seeing first-time buyers being priced out of these. With a lot of competition from London buyers looking in the area.

What challenges are you facing as a broker?

Our biggest challenge at the moment comes from rate changes and the speed at which they are coming through from lenders. Rate changes even in the last month have meant monthly payments on the same mortgage can go up tens if not hundreds of pounds if we don’t move quickly or are waiting for documents from clients.

On the buy-to-let side of the business, EPCs being of a high enough rating are becoming more of a hurdle to investors as lenders tighten up on these.

What are the main opportunities for brokers in your area and nationally?

I think customers now more than ever need a consultative approach on their mortgage. They need a broker who is going to look at their affordability for not just now but the future, and factor in the rising costs of living and the subject property to make sure it’s the right decision for them.

For investors, having the conversation with them about the current and future EPC rating and minimum standards is important.

If an investor is buying a property that is currently an E I am questioning them to make sure they know what they may need to do in future with the proposed changes. Will the cost of those changes make this property as good of an investment as they originally thought?

What could lenders do to help further your business?

Give a more advanced warning of rate changes – although this may be wishful thinking. The support from the business development teams is invaluable. Some lenders have thought of ways to maximise affordability with longer fixed rates and green mortgages to assist with the energy performance.

What sets you apart from the competition?

I started Penny House because I wanted to help people into their homes and to help those interested in buy-to-let get started to create a second income stream. I am passionate about what I do and the Penny House team share the same values.

To us this isn’t just a mortgage application, we understand that getting clients the funds they need is quite often life-changing.

How should potential borrowers contact you?

020 3890 5388