There are many systems and solutions that create a seamless digital experience. They provide a better service to all the links in the chain, while reducing rental market friction between tenants and landlords.
In recent weeks we’ve seen Nationwide invest in digital lettings agency, Bunk. Nationwide’s investment is said to come from its £50m Venturing Fund. Cash in the fund is invested into innovative goods and services that could benefit Nationwide’s members in the future. This marks a partnership which might well pave the way for even closer lender, landlord and tenant relationships in years to come.
Staying on the tech theme, Shawbrook has released a new online system that enables product switches to be completed in 48 hours. My Shawbrook Portal aims to reduce time from application to offer for buy-to-let customers requiring a like-for-like product switch when nearing the end of their mortgage term.
Moving onto some recent criteria changes, Santander has made several adjustments to its buy-to-let affordability rates and rental covers. The lender has reduced the affordability rate for remortgages without capital raising to four per cent (previously five per cent). It has removed the qualifying question, ‘Is the current mortgage balance the same or less than it was on 31 December 2016?’ This means all remortgages without capital raising will now qualify for the reduced four per cent affordability rate. The 125 per cent rental cover has also changed and Santander will now use its standard 130/145 per cent based on income tax bands.
Foundation Home Loans has launched two five-year buy-to-let fixed-rate products as well as a series of rate cuts across other deals in its range. One of the products is a large loan, five-year fixed rate mortgage priced at 3.34 per cent up to 65 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) until 31 January 2025 with a maximum loan size of £1.5m. The product comes with a 0.5 per cent product fee and a rental income calculation of 145 per cent at pay rate for individuals and 125 per cent at pay rate for limited companies.
LendInvest has expanded its buy-to-let range to include 65 per cent and 70 per cent LTV. The lender now offers £750 cashback on legal fees for those who take out a five-year fixed product at 75 per cent LTV on standard property types. For bigger projects it has loans with a new £1m maximum for large HMOs and a 70 per cent LTV option for these properties.
Principality Building Society has reduced selected fixed residential and buy-to-let rates within its range. The society’s 70 per cent and 75 per cent LTV two-year buy-to-let deals have been reduced by 0.17 per cent and include a free standard valuation and free legals.
Aldermore has also cut rates across its company buy-to-let remortgage and company multi property purchase and remortgage products by 0.3 per cent. Five-year fixed rate company buy-to-let remortgage products are now available from 3.98 per cent up to 75 per cent LTV and 4.58 per cent up to 80 per cent LTV. Multi property purchase and remortgage highlights include a five-year fixed rate at 3.78 per cent up to 75 per cent LTV or 4.38 per cent up to 80 per cent LTV.
All of which underlines an active and forward-thinking buy-to-let sector, a trend we are likely to continue seeing even in the wake of the impending Brexit deadline.