Ongoing buoyancy in the UK housing market has helped a Leicester mortgage broker to make a flying start after it set up shop in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
Finance Advice Centre, which is based in Francis Street, in the Stoneygate area of the city, is already looking to take on new advisers after opening its doors just a few weeks ago.
The centre, which is the sixth franchise to be operated under the Finance Advice Centre banner, has been opened by Yogesh Parekh, who brings with him more than 20 years’ experience of working in the finance sector.
Having begun his career with well-known High Street banks, Yogesh has spent the majority of his career working with UK lenders Everyday Loans but joined Finance Advice Centre as a mortgage adviser last year.
He has been working towards setting up his own franchise ever since and says that he has enjoyed a busy start, despite the economic upheaval and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus lockdown and lockdown bans on staff and customers setting foot in his new premises.
This is because much of his business comes to him from all over the country via the internet and the fact that the country’s housing market is proving to be stubbornly resistant to the economic downturn being experienced in other sectors.
And he says that even though the industry is working its way through a huge backlog of applications, there are still plenty of deals available, especially for the people whose imperfect credit histories would preclude them from getting a mortgage from a high street lender.
He said: “Even though the coronavirus and the lockdowns have had such a devastating effect on the economy elsewhere, we’ve been really busy ever since we opened and we’re already looking to add more advisers over the next few months.
“The housing market has stayed strong, I think, because no matter what happens elsewhere, people still want to get onto the housing ladder and they’re prepared to go to great lengths and make savings elsewhere in order to do so.
“My previous roles have been great preparation for that side of the role because I understand how people can get into financial difficulty through no fault of their own and so can advise them on what options there are out there for them and help them find a way of getting the deal that they want.”
The Finance Advice Centre franchise is part of the wider Finance Advice Group, which was set up in 2014 by former professional cricketer Matt Cassar and operates five other Centres, in Castle Donington, Derby, Nottingham, Ilkeston and Lichfield.
Mr Cassar said: “Even though so many of our customers contact us online, we still feel it’s important for us to have a high street presence and so I’m delighted that Yogesh has opened up our new branch in Leicester.
“Not only will it help to strengthen our local presence in the city, it offers customers the reassurance that we are an established company and, when we’re able to do so, we’ll be able to give them the option to meet us face to face.”