Thankfully, some far more positive product-related news is emerging on a more regular basis.
Precise Mortgages and Kent Reliance have returned to lending with 60 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) products for first-charge residential and buy-to-let.
On the buy-to-let front, Precise has introduced a 2.99 per cent two-year fix and a 3.49 per cent five-year fix.
The lenders have been able to launch the products after working extensively with their panel partners to find a desktop valuation solution.
Nottingham for Intermediaries has launched a range of fixed and discounted products for buy-to-let borrowers.
The lender had previously removed all of its products up to 85 per cent LTV due to the issues faced by all lenders in relation to physical valuations.
However, it has now been able to return to market with 65 per cent LTV products with automated valuation models (AVMs) removing the need for a physical valuation.
Virgin and Clydesdale
Virgin Money has relaunched both residential and buy-to-let mortgages after having paused new lending.
The lender has increased its use of desktop valuations and will now be able to extend its core range for properties valued between £80,000 and £500,000.
BTL purchase deals are available up to 60 per cent LTV with a £300 cashback and free valuations, while the remortgage LTV has also increased to 60 per cent.
The lender has also had to make some temporary changes to its lending policy, meaning personal income is not accepted on buy-to-let applications where there is a rental shortfall between 100 per cent and 145 per cent.
It’s sister lender Clydesdale Bank has increased the maximum LTV for its residential and buy-to-let purchase and remortgage products.
BTL clients will have now have access to a 60 per cent LTV two-year fix for purchase or remortgage purposes at 1.59 per cent. This comes with a £999 fee.
Santander and Accord
Santander has launched a new range of buy-to-let remortgage-only deals at 60 per cent LTV.
These include a two-year fix at 1.39 per cent with a £1,499 fee, a fee-free two-year fixed at 1.85 per cent, a five-year fixed rate at 1.79 per cent with a £1,499 fee and a fee-free five-year fixed at 1.99 per cent.
Accord has reduced rates on more than half of its existing product range.
For example, its five-year fixed rate at 60 per cent LTV is now 2.02 per cent, previously 2.09 per cent, and its five-year fix at 65 per cent LTV is now 2.21 per cent, previously 2.23 per cent.
Both products come with no product fee, free valuation and either £250 cashback or free standard legal services.
Two steps back, one step forward
The BTL market has understandably had to take two steps back to take one step forward in the current economic climate.
However, the fact that we can even talk about how lenders are quickly bouncing back, armed with new product ranges and solutions to ongoing physical valuation issues – albeit at lower LTV levels – is testament to how robust and innovative this sector really is.
And this certainly bodes well for the future of buy-to-let, whatever this might look like.