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Rate cuts set BTL market up for busy March – Ying Tan

by: Ying Tan, founder and chief executive of Dynamo
  • 02/03/2020
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Rate cuts set BTL market up for busy March – Ying Tan
February proved to be a rough month for much of the UK as we have been battered by storms and seen some horrendous levels of flooding.


Looking forward, let’s hope that some calmer March conditions can bring welcome respite from this terrible weather and provide a more stable platform for what is historically the start of a busy period for landlords, homebuyers and the wider mortgage market.

Focusing on activity levels across the buy-to-let sector over the last month, we saw some notable changes from lenders.


Aldermore overhaul

Aldermore Bank relaunched its buy-to-let proposition.

Lending criteria changes included longer terms, with the maximum term extended from 35 to 40 years and maximum loan limits increased on 75 per cent and 80 per cent loan to value (LTV).

The lender is also now ignoring communications defaults. In terms of products, fee-free limited edition five-year fixed rate products have been added, including a remortgage from 3.48 per cent for individual landlords with single residential investment properties.

Aldermore also added new products for portfolios up to £5m and reduced HMO and multi-unit freehold products.


Rate cuts abound

Kensington Mortgages reduced rates across its residential Help to Buy and buy-to-let ranges.

Within the BTL range, its two-year 85 per cent LTV fix has been reduced from 4.64 per cent to 4.39 per cent, and its five-year 85 per cent LTV fix has been slashed from 5.34 per cent to 5.09 per cent.

In addition, Kensington has reduced the £70,000 minimum loan size to £25,001. This includes individual landlords, limited company, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and multi-unit blocks, and those on the property plus product for homes with non-standard construction.

Foundation Home Loans has made a series of rate reductions across a number of products in its core buy-to-let range. The rate cuts cover both individual and limited company fixed-rate products for both single tenancy properties, as well as HMOs and short-term lets.

Newbury Building Society has reduced the rate of its limited company buy-to-let mortgage product – the offering is now at 2.75 per cent, down from 2.99 per cent, at 75 per cent LTV.

The society has also reduced the product’s mortgage application fee from £1,500 to £950 for purchase and remortgage purposes.


Specialist changes

Landbay has launched a time limited 3.39 per cent five-year fixed rate product which includes a free property valuation.

The buy-to-let mortgage lender will provide a free valuation for standard properties valued up to £400,000 while the product itself is available for loans up to 300,000 with a maximum LTV of 75 per cent and comes with a 1.5 per cent product fee.

Hampshire Trust Bank (HTB) has refreshed its buy-to-let and semi-commercial offering.

HTB now provides rates for loans up to £5m, an increase from £3m. Loans from £5m to £15m will be priced on application.

For loan sizes between £500,000 and £5m, two-year fixed rates start at 3.78 per cent and five-year fixed rates are available from 4.09 per cent.

The semi-commercial offering has been expanded to allow properties where the residential value is at least 50 per cent of the value of the whole property. Previously only properties where the residential value was at least 60 per cent were permissible.

Finally, Zephyr Homeloans has reduced its interest coverage ratios (ICR) across a range of mortgages.

For houses in multiple occupation, multi-unit freehold blocks and flats above commercial property, Zephyr has reduced its ICR from 155 per cent down to 135 per cent for limited companies and to 150 per cent for individuals.


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