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BTL lenders are refusing to lay low despite the subdued market – Armstrong

by: Cat Armstrong, mortgage club director of Dynamo for Intermediaries
  • 31/03/2023
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BTL lenders are refusing to lay low despite the subdued market – Armstrong
This would usually be a great time of year to roll out a host of clichés around a blossoming buy-to-let sector or how the sector really has a spring in its step, but we continue to operate in a relatively subdued market, largely due to inflationary pressure and rising interest rates.

On a positive note, lenders remain active, so let’s take a look at some March product madness (it’s not really madness – I’m just staying with the theme). 

West One Loans launched a new range of five-year fixed rate products with three-year early repayment charges (ERCs). The limited-edition range starts at 4.99 per cent for standard properties and 5.19 per cent for specialist properties, including large houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and multi-unit blocks (MUBs).  

The lender also unveiled a new range of lifetime trackers with rates starting from bank base rate (BBR) +1.65 per cent for landlords with standard properties, while its specialist range starts from BBR +1.85 per cent. 

Accord Mortgages reduced buy-to-let rates across all loan to values (LTVs) by up to 0.29 per cent. This includes a fee-free 5.01 per cent five-year fixed rate remortgage product at 75 per cent LTV complete with a free standard valuation and a choice of £250 cashback or free remortgage legal service. 

Fleet Mortgages cut rates across its entire range of two-year and five-year fixed-rate buy-to-let products. Standard, limited company, HMO and multi-unit freehold block (MUFB) loans in these term ranges have been reduced by 20 basis points.   


Limited edition and green launches 

Foundation Home Loans introduced two new limited edition buy-to-let products in its F1 tier, for clients with an almost clean credit history. The two-year fix, available up to 75 per cent LTV, comes with a rate of 5.94 per cent and a product fee of £1,995, while the five-year fix, also available up to 75 per cent LTV, comes with a rate of 5.59 per cent and a product fee of £4,995. 

Paragon Bank launched four limited edition five-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgages. The products are offered at up to 75 per cent LTV, with a maximum loan of £4 million and an Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR) calculation rate of 5.50 per cent. Rates start at 4.90 per cent when purchasing or remortgaging properties with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of A–C, rising to 4.95 per cent on homes with energy efficiency ratings of D or E.  

Precise Mortgages has also relaunched its energy efficiency refurbishment buy-to-let product range. The range includes three exit solutions that offer rate incentives based on the type of refurbishment work being carried out. 

Shawbrook announced a range of changes across its semi-commercial and specialist buy-to-let products for complex cases. Specialist buy-to-let loans between £150,000 and £1m have been re-priced with rates from 6.29 per cent now available; buy-to-let loans worth over £1m now start with rates from 5.69 per cent. 


Criteria updates 

Turning our attention to criteria, Saffron Building Society implemented a full product refresh across its mortgage portfolio. The Society has permanently increased its maximum loan size to £3m for cases up to 80 per cent LTV and £1m up to 90 per cent LTV on all residential and buy-to-let products. 

Coventry for Intermediaries reduced its buy-to-let stress rate. The changes affect those looking to purchase, remortgage, and port their existing buy-to-let mortgage. Like-for-like product transfers do not require a stress test. 

Finally, Clydesdale Bank enhanced its buy-to-let lending criteria. As part of the changes, Clydesdale’s buy-to-let mortgages have no minimum income requirement and no minimum rental cover requirement. 

As you can see from the sheer volume of activity, appetite from lenders remains evident as they continue to egg on more landlords to come out of their borrowing shell. (Sorry.) 

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