PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Molo partners with Propflo to boost energy efficiency in buy-to-lets | Seasonal peak in rental demand is opportunity for investors – says Fine & Country

Andrew Stanton’s daily PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ in association with Estate Agent Networking and News Now.

Molo partners with Propflo to boost energy efficiency in buy-to-lets

Press Release London, September 20th, 2023. Molo Finance, the UK’s first fully digital mortgage lender, is excited to announce its strategic collaboration with Propflo, an award-winning AI-driven proptech startup. This partnership will offer an end-to-end solution for landlords seeking to undertake energy efficiency upgrades.

Following a highly successful trial during the summer, which saw an increase in average engagement rates, Molo will introduce GreenVal, a cutting-edge tool from Propflo. The innovative tool is designed to help landlords become compliant with Energy Efficiency Standards and offers a range of options and recommendations for compliance, as well as direct quotes from reputable national suppliers.

The tool integrates with Propflo’s HomeHub, where customers can effortlessly:  Manage quotes and improvement works in one place, Securely store key property documents like warranties, set important reminders like gas safety servicing, Use smart home technology to monitor real-time energy efficiency and risks like mould.

Propflo launched the retrofit GreenVal tool in anticipation of the impending Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) that will require private rented properties to achieve a minimum energy rating of C by 2028. The standards are expected to be confirmed this year.

The tool will be sent to existing customers and accessible via Molo’s website, giving landlords the insights to improve the EPC rating of their properties. It’s beneficial for landlords who, with Molo, have a platform to effortlessly get a mortgage or remortgage online for their buy-to-let and begin the process of making their investments more energy efficient.

Speaking about the partnership, Molo CEO and Co-Founder, Francesca Carlesi says,

“Landlords want convenience, whether it’s managing their property or applying for finance. Our priority is to ensure they are well-prepared and proactive, and Propflo’s GreenVal tool offers high value for our customers who want to make their homes greener. This partnership is a reflection of Molo’s core values, offering speed, convenience and a fully digital solution.”

Propflo’s Founder and CEO, Luke Loveridge is equally as excited, commenting: “Francesca and the whole Molo team have been fantastic to work with. They really care about providing innovative solutions to better understand their portfolio and to add value for their customers. We have one of the most advanced end-to-end solutions and we’ve seen great engagement with retrofit during the pilot. We are thrilled to extend this solution to more of Molo’s existing and prospective customers.”

About Molo – Molo is an award-winning fintech startup that is transforming the mortgage industry as Europe’s only digitally native mortgage lender. Since it launched in 2018, Molo uses technology to deliver simpler and faster online mortgage lending – making homeownership easier for all.

Molo’s primary goal is to transform the broken mortgage market, moving away from cumbersome, inefficient, and slow processes, to fast, near real-time decisions. Since its launch, Molo has led change in the UK mortgage industry originating over £300m in online mortgage loans to date. Molo among others is backed by ColCap Financial Limited and has won several awards, including ‘Best Digital Mortgage Lender’ at the Fintech Awards and ‘Best Online Mortgage Lender’ at the Lending Awards.

About Propflo – Propflo is an award winning data-driven platform that supports lenders and property businesses to comply with energy efficiency regulations, meet their climate targets, and then support their customers in their wider ownership journey. Propflo was founded by proptech entrepreneur Luke Loveridge and geospatial and risk data scientist Dr Daniel Moyo.

Its lead investor, Ying Tan, is an industry expert having built and sold one of the largest specialist mortgage brokers in the country, and is now CEO of leading digital broker – Habito. The business has a strong advisory team including Verona Frankish the CEO of Yopa, and Professor Mike Tipping who is a world-leading AI expert.

Seasonal peak in rental demand signals opportunities for investors – Fine & Country

With the new academic year underway, the rental market is experiencing a seasonal peak, characterised by increased demand, low void periods and many renters looking to renew.

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director of Fine & Country, points to recent data from HomeLet, which shows that the average monthly rent in the UK soared to £1,261 in August 2023, representing a substantial 10.3% year-on-year increase. She notes that this surge can be attributed to the traditional rise in student demand at this time of year, along with other economic factors which are impacting the market.

She adds that although voids periods have increased, they are still comparatively low. “While Goodlord’s data indicates a slight increase in void periods from nine days in July to thirteen days in August, it is important to note that despite this uptick, August still marked the second-lowest month for voids since July 2022,” Stevenson comments.

According to Stevenson, during July the number of prospective new tenants surged by 38% compared to the same period the previous year. However, the supply of rental properties per branch only increased by 24%, creating a growing mismatch between supply and demand in the market. “Consequently, more than three-quarters of agents, as reported in the Dataloft Inform Poll of Subscribers, have noted an increase in renters seeking lease renewals, with just 5% reporting a decrease,” she says.

Looking at trends within the rental market, Stevenson notes that there have been many landlords who have been reducing their portfolios. “According to CBRE data, since 2016, approximately 400,000 rental homes have been sold by landlords, with 126,500 of these sales occurring since the beginning of 2022. The reasons behind this shift include policy changes, increasing taxation, rising inflation, and mounting mortgage costs, all of which have reduced the financial viability of buy-to-let properties. Many landlords are looking to exit the market,” Stevenson comments.

“However, for those considering a medium-to-long-term investment strategy, the current market conditions offer optimism. Softening sales prices and a downward trend in mortgage rates, coupled with steadily rising rents, continue to provide attractive returns and capital growth prospects for investors. reports that an estimated 41% of landlords own all of their properties outright, while 35% hold all their properties on a mortgage. Those without a mortgage or with lower loan-to-values are in a particularly strong position to capitalise on the current market dynamics,” adds Stevenson.

In conclusion, the September 2023 lettings market in the UK is experiencing heightened demand, low void periods, and a growing interest in lease renewals. While landlords have faced challenges in recent years, the potential for medium-to-long-term investment remains robust.

PROPTECH-X in association with Estate Agent Networking & NewsNow publications.

Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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