Santander ups new business rates and Virgin raises SVRs – round-up

Santander ups new business rates and Virgin raises SVRs – round-up

Santander is also temporarily removing selected two and five-year fixed new business purchase and remortgage rates at 85 per cent loan to value (LTV) . There were four purchase products and four remortgage products with rates starting from 3.14 per cent.

Buy-to-let rates will rise by 0.70 per cent, with examples including its fee-free two-year fixed remortgage at 60 per cent LTV going up to 4.09 per cent. 

Its two-year fixed buy-to-let purchase and remortgage product at the same LTV tier has increased to 3.79 per cent. It comes with a £1,499 fee.

In its residential range, Santander has upped rates by 0.65 per cent on its purchase mortgages between 75 and 95 per cent LTV. 

This includes a two-year fixed rate at 90 per cent LTV, which is now priced at 3.89 per cent. Its five-year fixed rate at the same LTV tier stands at 4.09 per cent. Both come with a £999 fee and £250 cashback has been removed.

Santander’s remortgage products between 75 and 90 per cent LTV have risen by as much as 0.65 per cent. Its two-year fixed rate at 75 per cent LTV with a £999 fee and its five-year fixed rate equivalent is 3.84 per cent. 

On the purchase and remortgage side, rates have also gone up by around 0.65 per cent. Its large loan two-year fixed rate at 70 per cent LTV with a £2,499 fee is 3.89 per cent.

The lender has increased rates for new build products between 75 and 85 per cent LTV. This includes a two and half-year fixed rate at 75 per cent LTV which is priced at 3.74 per cent and comes with a £999 fee.

On the Help to Buy side, rates have also risen by around 0.65 per cent. Its two and a half-year fixed rate at 75 per cent LTV with £999 fee is 3.79 per cent and £250 cashback has been removed.

The lender’s residential and buy-to-let product transfer fixed rates are going up by around 0.45 per cent, while selected residential tracker rates are increasing by 0.25 per cent. Santander said that product transfer rates were personalised to each customer.


Virgin Money raises buy-to-let variable rate and SVR

Virgin Money said that, following the Bank of England’s decision to raise the base rate to 1.25 per cent last month, it had increased its residential SVR to 5.49 per cent and its buy-to-let variable rate to 5.69 per cent.

This is up from 5.24 per cent and 5.44 per cent respectively.

It added that its loyalty rate for residential customers who have a mortgage for seven years or more will go up from 4.99 per cent to 5.24 per cent.

Customers affected by the changes will be contacted, with the changes coming into force for new customers from 7 July and from 1 August for existing customers.

Clydesdale Bank’s residential SVR has risen from 5.24 per cent to 5.49 per cent and residential offset variable rate will go from 5.45 per cent to 5.7 per cent.

The buy-to-let revert rate and offset variable investment housing loan rate will increase from 5.85 per cent to 6.1 per cent.

Clydesdale Bank’s changes will come into effect for new customers and existing customers from 7 July.


Drop in mortgage searches as product availability wanes – Twenty7Tec

Drop in mortgage searches as product availability wanes – Twenty7Tec

The mortgage sourcing technology provider said searches of purchase mortgage deals fell 12.3 per cent to 778,909 and searches for remortgage products fell 6.3 per cent at 575,879 in June; the total number of mortgage searches during the month was 1,354,788.

First-time buyer product searches stayed the same, accounting for 19 per cent of all mortgage product searches.

Mortgage searches for properties worth less than £250,000 and homes valued at over £1m both fell by over 14 per cent.

But searches for green mortgages rose in June 2022. The month saw four of the top 15 ever busiest days for green mortgage searches, although they only accounted for 0.06 per cent of total monthly mortgage searchers.

Green buy-to-let mortgages are growing in popularity and accounted for one-third of the total green mortgage market searches in June.

Twenty7Tec said the market appeared to have peaked for product availability, with three months of fewer products available at the end of the month compared to May.

There were 1,200 fewer mortgage products available than the previous month, which represents a 6.8 per cent drop after a 3.8 per cent drop the month before.

There are now 118 fewer products in the 75 per cent maximum loan to value bracket, which accounts for around five per cent of the market.

James Tucker (pictured), founder and CEO of Twenty7Tec said the market was now operating at 81.6 per cent of the pre-pandemic product volumes.

He said: “I don’t think that we can ignore the drop in total mortgage products available as a signal to the market. It’s now been three months on the trot of fewer products available and advisers and lenders both need to think about all the forces driving that activity.

“In better news, we appear to finally have lift-off in the green mortgages sector where customers and particularly buy-to-let mortgages are seeking a better rate as a result of their improved EPC ratings on their properties.”


West One launches discount two-year BTL tracker

West One launches discount two-year BTL tracker

The product is priced at 3.29 per cent and available up to 80 per cent loan to value (LTV). The lender’s reversion rate is currently 4.99 per cent plus the base rate.  

The deal is available to landlords with a clean credit profile, and first-time landlords are also eligible. 

There are no minimum income requirements for first-time landlords and they must own their own home. 

The maximum loan size available on the mortgage is £2m.  

Additionally, West One has launched lifetime tracker products within its W1 for both standard and specialist cases, with rates beginning from 3.64 per cent. Terms of either two or five years are available. 

Andrew Ferguson (pictured), managing director of West One’s buy-to-let division, said: “While interest rates look like they are only going one way – up – nobody can know for sure. A year ago, nobody would have predicted inflation would be close to double-digits and interest rates would be north of one per cent, 

“The feedback we have had from brokers suggests there are still plenty of borrowers out there who believe that rates will settle – or even fall – over the medium-term and therefore want the flexibility that a discounted tracker deal offers.” 

He added: “That is why we have launched this deal today, and we will continue to evolve our buy-to-let range so it is in tune with the needs of brokers and their clients. 

“What’s more, applicants will continue to benefit from our speed, our flexible underwriting and expertise, which is why brokers keep coming back to us.” 

Legal & General Mortgage Club hires promotes Sophie Holloman as key relationship manager

Legal & General Mortgage Club hires promotes Sophie Holloman as key relationship manager

In her role, she will develop new and existing relationships with key partners and add new accounts.

The firm said that an important part of this role was “equipping existing clients with the right tools, technical guidance, wider industry knowledge, and access to new lenders”.

It added that Holloman would be an extension to clients’ teams and offer technical expertise to grow their business.

She takes over from Sheldon, who held the role for just over three years and has been appointed national account manager at Kensington Mortgages.

Holloman has been with the firm since 2017, initially starting as a property risk controller and then progressing to her most recent role as telephone relationship manager.

The company said she was “instrumental in growing the business’ client base and driving the adoption of technology within these firms”.

Legal and General Mortgage Club said it had grown its relationship teams from three to seven in February this year and was recruiting for an additional two telephone relationship managers.

Clare Beardmore, head of broker and propositions at Legal and General Mortgage Club, said she was proud to announce the promotion and was excited for Holloman’s next chapter with the business.

“Sophie is a prime example of how much we value our own homegrown talent. When we have talented and passionate individuals like Sophie, we know how important it is that we support them with the right opportunities and training to make sure they can fulfil their potential.

“Sophie has already demonstrated that she is an invaluable member of our team, and we have no doubt that she will continue to play a key role in the business success of our growing client base,” she noted.

Beardmore also congratulated Sheldon for his new role and thanked him for his work with the company.

Holloman added: “I’m delighted to get stuck into my new role at Legal and General Mortgage Club and can’t wait to play an even bigger role in this growing team as it goes from strength-to-strength.

“I’ve learnt a great deal in my journey so far and look forward to working closely with current and future clients to give them all the support they need.”

Annual house price growth rises to 18-year high of 13 per cent – Halifax

Annual house price growth rises to 18-year high of 13 per cent – Halifax


According to the Halifax house price index, there was also a 1.8 per cent monthly rise in prices during June making it the 12th month running for price inflation. 

Northern Ireland recorded the strongest annual house price growth, up 15.2 per cent to £187,833.

This was followed by Wales, with a yearly price change of 14.3 per cent to £219,281.

Within England, the South West saw the sharpest jump in house prices annually, up 14.2 per cent to £308,128.

While remaining the most expensive region for houses in the UK, London recorded a 7.1 per cent uptick in average prices to £547,031.

No slowdown yet 

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said the UK housing market “defied any expectations of a slowdown”. 

He added: “House prices have now risen every month over the last year, and are up by 6.8 per cent or £18,849 in cash terms so far in 2022, pushing the typical UK house price to another record high of £294,845. 

“The supply-demand imbalance continues to be the reason house prices are rising so sharply. Demand is still strong – though activity levels have slowed to be in line with pre-Covid averages – while the stock of available properties for sale remains extremely low.” 

Galley said property prices had been “insulated” from the cost of living squeeze as this was primarily being felt by those on lower incomes who were less likely to be actively buying and selling houses. 

He said: “Of course, the housing market will not remain immune from the challenging economic environment. But for now it continues to demonstrate – as it has done over the last couple of years – the unique combination of factors impacting prices. 

“In time though increased pressure on household budgets from inflation and higher interest rates should weigh more heavily on the housing market, given the impact this has on affordability. 

“So while it may come later than previously anticipated, a slowing of house price growth should still be expected in the months ahead.” 


Not a case of if, but when 

Imogen Sporle, head of term finance at London-based broker, Finanze, said: “Despite this extraordinary data, it’s not a case of if house prices crash but when.  

“Demand in the property market will cool due to painfully high inflation. Inflation is the property market’s nemesis and is hitting sentiment for six. Lenders becoming more conservative with affordability is sensible in the current climate but of course this will mean people can borrow less, which means sellers may soon have to price lower.” 


More rises in the near-term 

Rhys Schofield, managing director at Belper-based Peak Mortgages and Protection, said: “House prices are still going to be higher by the end of the year, as the data we see now is based on what value house sales were agreed five months ago and that will take time to feed through. Demand is still very much there and the drastic shortage of property stock just keeps driving prices up.  

“We still have a shortfall on UK housing stock of about four million properties so until that changes, which seems incredibly unlikely given the track record of successive governments, the inflationary pressure on house prices will not subside.” 

Lewis Shaw, founder of Mansfield-based Shaw Financial Services, said Halifax’s recent launch of a 95 per cent loan to value mortgage for new builds meant the lender was willing to increase its exposure, possibly hinting at stronger house price growth to come. 

He added: “They must think or know something we don’t, namely house prices aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. This move by one of the best and most well-respected lenders in the UK should give everyone pause for thought. Moreover, it should give added confidence in the property market, mortgage market and the economy more generally.  

“To me, this move in itself signals things may just be alright. Also, let’s not forget we are still facing the lowest stock levels since records began, which will continue to support prices.” 

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, said: “It will surely be only a month or two before we see the price of the average property break through the £300,000 barrier for the first time. 

“Growth is being driven by the imbalance between supply and demand, with higher-earning professionals pushing up the price of larger, more expensive, detached homes. 

“Who knows when this incredible run of 12 consecutive monthly rises will end, but perhaps it’s not as soon as we thought.” 

Debt among over-55s will soar to over £400bn in a decade – More2Life

Debt among over-55s will soar to over £400bn in a decade – More2Life

Joint research carried out by the Cebr and More2Life analysed date from the Bank of England NMG’s survey and the Wealth and Assets survey.

The research predicted that the total amount of debt owed by the over-55s would rise to £294bn this year, up from £272bn in 2021 and £209bn in 2017.

This would amount to a 41 per cent in five years and is expected to rise to £402bn by 2032, a rise of 92 per cent in just 15 years.

Most of this debt is held by those aged between 55 and 64, who are still working while repaying mortgages and supporting children.

The total debt held by this group is expected to rise from £196bn in 2021 to £210bn in 2022. Half of 55 to 64-year-olds said they were currently in debt or have been in the past five years, equating to 4.4m people.

Unsecured debt amongst the over-55s grew from less than £20bn in 2015 to over £25bn in 2019 but contracted slightly between 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic.

The research predicted that unsecured debt is likely to rise by over a third in 2022, reaching £20bn, as the cost-of-living drives many to borrow to make ends meet.

Almost 40 per cent of retirees said they have spent more than they receive in income in some months in 2022, with eight per cent saying this often or always happens.


Credit card debt

The average credit card debt of those with debt stands at £2,800 and other types of unsecured debt levels are expected to an average of £10,700 per individual with debt.

More than one in five, 22 per cent, of over-55s revealed that they had credit card debt in the past five years which they had not paid off in full each month, equating to 4.7m people.

The second most common type of debt was an overdraft, with nine per cent saying they had used their bank account debt facility to fund additional spending.

Dave Harris (pictured), chief executive at More2Life, said debt was a fact of life for many people. “However, with 40 per cent of retirees already finding that their monthly outgoings outweigh their income, it is likely to quickly become a burden for some as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

“Over-55s are expected to borrow £22bn more than they did last year which is likely to be driven by higher interest rates and rising inflation. Servicing this borrowing will have an impact on those older people who are already on fixed incomes and may be providing some financial support for their families.

“While individuals need to consider how best to manage their own finances as they get older, it is vital that they consider all their assets. Living in a property you own but being too scared to turn the heating on and dreading a visit to the supermarket makes no sense at all.

“Specialist advisers are ideally placed to help people explore all their options and understand whether a later life lending product such as equity release might be the support they need.”


UPDATE: PM Boris Johnson to step down and Greg Clark replaces Gove as Levelling Up secretary

UPDATE: PM Boris Johnson to step down and Greg Clark replaces Gove as Levelling Up secretary

According to media reports, the Conservative leadership contest will be held in the summer and a new prime minister will be in place by the party conference in October.

Johnson is expected to give a statement later today.

He has been prime minister since 2019 following a leadership contest, and then went on to win a general election a few months later.

During his tenure, he introduced a 95 per cent mortgage scheme and brought out a Levelling Up agenda that included scrapping Section 21 eviction notices, £1.5bn Levelling Up Home Building Fund and £1.8bn of brownfield funding.

He also recently made suggestions to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants and to allow housing benefit to be used for mortgages, as well as intergenerational 50-year mortgages.

Gove sacked and other Levelling Up ministers resign

Widespread media reports also reported yesterday that Johnson had fired Michael Gove from his role as secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Reports say that he had called for Johnson to resign amidst growing turmoil in the Conservative party.

Gove has been in the role as secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Local Communities since September. He is the fourth secretary of state since 2015.

Before that he was chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, the Queen’s rural estates. Other roles he has held during his political career include minister for the cabinet office and secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.

He took over from Robert Jenrick, who held the role between 2019 and 2021. Other people who have held the role in recent years include James Brokenshire, Sajid Javid, Greg Clarke and Eric Pickles.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has also had several resignations, including housing minister Stuart Andrew, who took on the role in February.

Other resignations in the department include Kemi Badenoch, minister of state for local government, faith and communities, and Neil O’Brien, minster for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution.

As of 10:30am this morning there had been 59 resignations since Tuesday evening.

Greg Clark made Levelling Up secretary

Greg Clark has been appointed as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, replacing Gove who was sacked by the now outgoing prime minister.

Johnson is currently making cabinet appointments and is reported to stay on as prime minister in a caretaker role until autumn. 

Clark was previously Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, a post he held for three years until July 2019. Prior to that, he was the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from May 2015 until July 2016. 

A replacement for the housing minister is yet to be announced, following Stuart Andrew’s resignation yesterday. 

UK adults miss major bill payments amid strain on household finances – TML

UK adults miss major bill payments amid strain on household finances – TML

According to a survey of more than 2,000 adults conducted by The Mortgage Lender (TML), the pandemic has put a strain on household finances with four our of every 100 adults believed to have missed multiple payments over the last two years.

TML’s research also found that a tenth of people planning to buy a property within the next year had missed a payment in the past two years.

Young adults were among those most likely to have experienced financial difficulty, as 11 per cent of 18-34-year-olds had missed at least one usual payment in the past two years. This was nearly four times the amount of over-55s, at three per cent, who missed payments.

TML said it was concerned that prospective homebuyers were those most likely to have accrued adverse credit recently, with 10 per cent, admitting to having missed one or more payments in the past two years, putting them at risk of having a mortgage application rejected.

Across all adults who admitted to missing a payment, the average number of payments missed was three, with 31 per cent missing five or more.

The most common missed payment was a credit card payment, which accounted for 45 per cent of all missed payments. The next most common missed payment, at 40 per cent, was a utility bill, followed 27 per cent, missing a council tax bill, 25 per cent missing rent payments and 23 per cent missing personal loan repayments. Missed mortgage payments accounted for seven per cent of missed payments.


Mortgage industry needs to help

Peter Beaumont, chief executive of The Mortgage Lender, said: “It’s nearly two years since the onset of Covid-19 and the true picture of the financial difficulty faced by some people is coming into sharp focus.

“With greater clarity on household’s credit history during this period, we’re now seeing the potential dangers to people’s financial futures too. The past two years have impacted many people’s jobs and salaries, putting a squeeze on household finances, and now with the rising cost of living due to high inflation and energy costs there is even greater pressure on the nation’s finances.

“In such a volatile economic climate, it’s important that more people are prevented from falling down a rabbit hole of financial difficulty. The lending market needs to become better equipped to deal with the greater quantities of people who are emerging from the pandemic with adverse credit histories. Rather than penalising people for the consequences of an unprecedented event, the industry should be working together to support those who’ve missed payments so that people, especially aspiring homeowners, aren’t locked out of the market.”

Coventry BS cuts mortgage rates

Coventry BS cuts mortgage rates

For owner-occupiers, rate changes apply up to 85 per cent loan to value (LTV), and include a five-year fixed rate at 75 per cent LTV which now has a rate of 3.25 per cent. This has a £999 fee and is available for purchase, remortgage, further advance and first-time buyers. 

The fee-free counterpart now has a rate of 3.54 per cent. 

At 85 per cent LTV, the five-year fixed rate with a £999 fee has a rate of 3.35 per cent. This is also available for purchase, remortgage, further advance and first-time buyers. 

Ben Williams (pictured), corporate account manager at Coventry for intermediaries, said: “We’re continuing to support the broker market where we can with more competitive rates across a large selection of products. These changes will allow us to strike a better balance between meeting client demand for competitive rates and balancing service. In the current market, brokers and their clients should see the appeal of a good mix of both.” 

West One Loans hires Masthaven’s former first charge national account manager

West One Loans hires Masthaven’s former first charge national account manager

In his role, he will part of the sales team focused on the lender’s buy-to-let portfolio for new and existing intermediaries.

Smith worked at Masthaven for around five years, and before that was a key account manager at Bluestone Mortgages for nearly two years.

Prior to that he was a relationship manager at Aldermore for just over two years and was previously an intermediary account manager at The Co-operative Banking Group.

Before that he worked at Platform, a subsidiary of The Co-op Bank, for around nine years in various roles including business development manager and new business team leader.

He has also worked at Alliance and Leicester for around three years as a mortgage underwriter and team leader.

Andrew Ferguson, West One Loan’s managing director for buy-to-let, said: “John is an excellent appointment, and we are delighted that he has chosen to join West One. He’s well known, well-respected and experienced in the buy-to-let market and has fantastic knowledge when it comes to supporting a diverse range of intermediary partners. He is a great addition to our growing team.”

Smith said: “West One is a hugely exciting organisation and I couldn’t be happier to be joining. The company is trusted by intermediaries and property professionals to deal with complex buy-to-let and its strength of funding and agility in the market sets it apart from its competitors. I can’t wait to get started.”