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BTL rates rise after months of cuts – MFB

by: Heather Greig-Smith
  • 09/05/2017
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BTL rates rise after months of cuts – MFB
Buy-to-let rates rose in April across two, three and five-year terms, suggesting the market may have fallen as far as it can.

The analysis came from the Buy to Let Mortgage Product Index, published by Mortgages for Business. The index tracked 1,196 products by 36 lenders.

It followed a first quarter defined by successive rate cuts. Only five-year fixed rates failed to return to their February averages, remaining 0.01% lower at 3.76% versus 3.77% in February.

This is the first month since January that the index has shown any rate increases, both among fixed and variable products.

Average rates for some terms had consistently fallen for even longer, particularly three-year fixed rates. They fell every month between April 2016 and March 2017, reducing from 4.50%, to 3.53%, a record low.


Rates can only fall so far

Steve Olejnik, COO of Mortgages for Business, said: “For some time now buy-to-let mortgage lenders have been cutting rates to maintain lending volume in a sector that has been actively targeted by both the taxman and the regulator. Rates can only fall so far, however, and figures from April suggest we may have reached the limit.”

It is unclear whether the rise will become a trend. Although April brought increases in fixed rates, especially for shorter terms, no discernible pattern emerged among variable rate products.

Five and two-year tracker rates increased by 0.02% and 0.12% respectively, but others continue to fall. Three-year variable rates fell 0.02%, while term product rates fell by 0.11%.

In April, Mortgages for Business said limited company purchases and remortgages now make up 40% of the buy-to-let market, following changes to tax relief rules and regulation.

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