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Buy-to-let product improvements carried the market through May – Armstrong

by: Cat Armstrong, mortgage club director at Dynamo for Intermediaries
  • 29/05/2024
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Buy-to-let product improvements carried the market through May – Armstrong
Very much like the weather of late, the mortgage market has had its fair share of sunshine and showers in the last month.

We’ve seen the rate of inflation continue to fall, prompting more speculation about rate reductions, yet to counter, that we now have a fixed date for the general election and all the uncertainty that goes with that.

How, then, is anyone supposed to know when it’s a good time to move house or invest? 

As an industry, we are phenomenal at facing challenges, and I firmly believe that the election is just another hurdle that we will take in our stride. If our customers continue to wait it out, it’s inevitable that something else will change.

A business-as-usual approach is definitely key at the moment.

Let’s seize the moment and speak with our customers about all of the excellent products that are available right now, which leads me on very nicely to some of the announcements we’ve seen from lenders this month. 

 

Rate reductions and launches 

Foundation Home Loans has made a number of changes to both its buy-to-let (BTL) and residential offerings. Landlords can now access special portfolio landlord five-year fixed products in the lender’s F1 tier that feature a 6% fee and rates available from 4.99%.

As part of its residential offering, Foundation has launched new joint borrower sole proprietor (JBSP) products.

Available in both F1 and F2 tiers, these feature both two- and five-year fixed options up to 85% loan to value (LTV). Rates start from 6.29% with a £795 fee.

Fleet Mortgages has launched two new 65% five-year fixed rate products in its limited company BTL range. A zero product fee option is available at 5.64%, or clients can opt for a £1,999 fee option priced at 5.44%. Both products are assessed at payrate.

Fleet has also made rate reductions of 20 basis points on its 65% LTV standard five-year fixed rate products. 

Vida Homeloans has announced rate cuts on its BTL limited-edition 75% LTV 6% fee products. The standard five-year limited-edition product within Vida 36 is now priced at 4.84%. The house in multiple occupation (HMO) and multi-unit block (MUB) equivalent is now 5.04%. 

LendInvest has made some significant updates to its BTL proposition to provide investors with more options and flexibility. Reductions of up to 15 basis points have been made across the BTL range, meaning that rates now start at 3.89%. Landlords can access five-year products up to 80% LTV for both standard properties and small HMOs, maximum loan sizes have increased to £3m, and the lender has reintroduced two- and five-year fixed holiday let products.

CHL Mortgages has implemented a reduction of 0.21% across all its fixed rates. A standard two-year fixed BTL mortgage is now available from 3.2% and a five-year from 4.55%. HMO/MUFB rates start at 3.22% for a two-year product and 4.62% for a five-year product. All products are available to both individuals and limited companies and feature a range of fee options. 

 

Buy-to-let product tweaks 

Zephyr Homeloans has made a number of adjustments to its BTL range. For landlords who need capital, the lender has launched a new 80% LTV product with no product fee.

Priced at 6.19% for a five-year fixed for properties with an EPC rating of A to C and 6.29% for properties rated D and E, these products have a maximum loan size of £750,000.

For those seeking greater affordability, Zephyr has introduced a 7% product fee option. There have also been reductions made across two- and five-year fixed rates that now start from 3.64%. 

Hampshire Trust Bank (HTB) made criteria changes to support those looking to invest in properties built with modern methods of construction (MMCs) as well as first-time landlords. HTB will consider any type of MMC as security, as long as it is approved by the Build Offsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS).

The lender will also now accept applications from non-homeowning first-time landlords with an income of over £60,000 per annum.

Kent Reliance has introduced lower LTVs of 55% and 65% on its five-year fixes alongside some rate reductions to appeal to landlords looking for more options. In an enhancement to its multi-unit freehold block (MUFB) criteria, Kent Reliance will now include up to 20 units as standard. 

The Mortgage Lender (TML) has responded to feedback from brokers by introducing a new BTL multi-loan product for customers who already have an application with TML or who are submitting two or more applications at the same time.

Minimum loan size for non-portfolio landlords is £75,000 and £50,000 for portfolio landlords. The multi-loan product will have no application or valuation fees and is intended to help reduce upfront costs.

Buckingham Building Society has introduced a new five-year fix with a headline rate of 5.99%. In a change from the previous 75% LTV BTL lending boundary, this new product is available up to 80% LTV and is open to first-time landlords, limited companies or individual landlords.

It also includes lending on new-build flats that are no more than six floors high. 

Finally, this month, we’ve seen a rebrand by Greenfield Mortgages. The bridging lender has re-launched as Greenfield Bridging. In its 15th year, the short-term bridging lender continues to operate throughout England and Wales, with rates starting from 0.72% pm up to 75% LTV, both regulated and unregulated. 

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