Darlington raises out of area minimum loan sizes to deal with ‘unprecedented demand’

Darlington raises out of area minimum loan sizes to deal with ‘unprecedented demand’


The floor for out of area applications will be increased to £100,000, with the exception of shared ownership.

The society’s operating postcode areas are: DL, TS, DH, YO, SR and HG, where the standard minimum loan size of £25,000 will be maintained.

The change takes effect on 5pm 18 September, and applications where a DIP has been undertaken before the cut-off will still be accepted.

In a statement Darlington thanked broker partners for their continued support and patience through “this very busy period”.

West One increases second charge LTVs to 75 per cent and ups loan size caps

West One increases second charge LTVs to 75 per cent and ups loan size caps


Maximum loans sizes have been raised to £500,000 on prime product ranges, and a new five-year fix has been added with early repayments charges to its Apex 1 range.

The lender will consider regular overtime and commission for non-key workers, where this is sustainable and in line with previous year’s earnings.

And on buy to let, loan sizes are to be increased to £250,000 as the lender reinstates pre-Covid lending criteria, which includes considering loans for ex-pats and licensed HMOs.

On residential, the lender will also consider workers returning from furlough. To be eligible, the borrower must return to work on full pay and pre-furlough hours. Borrowers exiting payment holidays will also be considered if they have made at least one full contractual mortgage payment.

Marie Grundy, sales director at West One Loans (pictured), said: “I am proud that West One has been able to play a significant role in ensuring that a wider range of borrowers can continue to access second charge finance throughout these uncertain times.

“At a time when mortgage intermediaries are working in more challenging circumstances, with particular regard to service and product availability, it is more important than ever that specialist finance products, such as second charges, are considered as part of the standard advice process to ensure borrowers needs are being met by the most appropriate product.”

Shawbrook provides refurbishment loan for six-bed HMO conversion

Shawbrook provides refurbishment loan for six-bed HMO conversion


The bank offered the £261,000 interest-only refurbishment loan after it was approached by its broker partner Go Finance. The loan was issued on a nine-month term at 75 per cent loan to value (LTV). 

Shawbrook added the arrangement fee on top of the maximum LTV, rather than deducting it from the gross loan resulting in a higher net loan amount for the client.   

The property built in 1910, was noted as ‘significantly dated throughout’. Works were needed to modernise the property, including damp, external joinery repairs, potential ceiling asbestos, leak damage and the replacement of an old boiler. Upgrades were also required to improve the EPC rating.   

The client secured the exit route to a term mortgage, which enabled him to recover his deposit and the refurbishment funds spent, as the value of the property had increased by almost 40 per cent.   

Neil Moorhouse, managing director of Go Finance, said: “The process with Shawbrook from quotation to completion is extremely straight forward with market leading pricing which enables Go Finance to offer best in market products.  

Shawbrook are an extremely helpful bank on all levels and offer great support to the intermediary marketplace.” 

Gavin Seaholme (pictured)head of sales property at Shawbrook Bank, added: “Working with expert broker partners and delivering a good customer journey and outcome are key to providing bridging solutions.  

Heavy refurbishment is a key product in this market as it offers customers the opportunity to maximise an assets potential.” 

Buckinghamshire BS brings back ex-pat BTL deals

Buckinghamshire BS brings back ex-pat BTL deals


The two year discounted rate is priced at 3.99 per cent, 1.5 per cent below the society’s buy-to-let standard variable rate, and is available up to 70 per cent loan to value. The deal has £999 fee.

Landlords who live abroad, either renting or as homeowners, are eligible to apply. There is no maximum age restriction.

Tim Vigeon, the society’s head of lending, said: “We have had a number of enquiries regarding this type of lending in the past, with people looking to rent out a UK property as part of their long-term financial planning.

“We have a list of accepted countries and the borrower must be either living or working in one of these.”

Landlords must be able to pay the mortgage and receive rent from a UK bank account.

Foundation Home Loans makes buy to let rate reductions

Foundation Home Loans makes buy to let rate reductions


This includes the 80 per cent loan to value (LTV) two-year fixed rate which has been reduced by 20 basis points from 4.29 per cent to 4.09 per cent. This is available to F1 borrowers who are classified as those with an almost clean credit record.  

The homes in multiple occupancy (HMO) five-year fixed product has been cut by 60 basis points at 75 per cent LTV. This is now 3.94 per cent from 4.54 per cent for properties with up to six occupants. 

For larger HMOs with a maximum of eight bedroom and all multi-unit blocks to a maximum of 10 units, the 75 per cent five-year fixed has gone down to 4.04 per cent from 4.64 per cent. 

Products at 65 per cent LTV rates have also seen reductions of 25 basis points. 

Short-term let fixes including the two-year term at 65 per cent LTV has been reduced to 3.49 per cent from 3.59 per cent and the 75 per cent LTV has been cut to 3.89 per cent from 3.99 per cent. 

Five-year fixed short-term let offerings at 65 per cent LTV are now 3.94 per cent from 4.04 per cent and at 75 per cent LTV, the rate is 4.54 per cent from 4.64 per cent 

Foundation has also extended all end dates to the 31 January 2023 for two-year deals and 31 January 2026 for five-year products. 

Jeff Knight, director of marketing at Foundation Home Loans, said: “Foundation is on course to achieve a record quarter for new business. Our sales team are receiving record levels of enquiries but we continue to provide a reliable service to intermediaries.  

We are building on this success with these rate reductions to our core range to ensure we support existing brokers further and support the growing number of new brokers we have recently onboarded too.” 

Foundation Home Loans to pull select two year deals

Foundation Home Loans to pull select two year deals


In an email sent to brokers, Foundation said it was withdrawing its two-year flat fee deals and its two-year discounted variable products from Thursday.

Decision in principles will be accepted on the products until 7pm Wednesday 16 September.

Brokers will be unable to access the portal between 7pm and Thursday morning while new deals are added to the system.

The specialist lender overhauled its range at the beginning of September, introducing new deals at 65, 75 and 80 per cent loan to value.

Aspen deal gives borrower time to sell development following Covid delays

Aspen deal gives borrower time to sell development following Covid delays


The case was completed on the lender’s flat rate product at 0.89 per cent across a 10-month term, with no early repayment charge and no exit fees.

The developer was looking for a capital raise on the site whilst extending the marketing period of the houses.

Snagging work remains on the properties after completion was pushed back by the pandemic.

As build control sign-off and warranty were still to be provided, Aspen liaised directly with the build control inspectors and warranty providers to understand the project was progressing properly and ensuring completion was not delayed.

The case was presented to Aspen by Michael Adam, director at PCF.

Jack Coombs, director at Aspen Bridging (pictured), said: “At any time there are developments that require a little extra time either due to works or planning overruns to ensure they achieve market value. Our development-exit bridge fits this requirement now more so than ever.”

Equifinance returns to market with ‘real appetite to lend’

Equifinance returns to market with ‘real appetite to lend’

After a carrying out a pilot scheme to test its systems and bring back key staff for a limited service, the company is reopening doors to all its intermediary partners.

Tony Marshall (pictured), managing director, said: “Equifinance is in a strong position with reliable funding lines in place and a real appetite to lend.

“It is good to be back lending and with the ongoing affordability concerns of many first charge lenders, there is no doubt in my mind that more customers and their advisers are going to find themselves looking to specialist lending avenues as high street choices tighten their lending criteria, regardless of a potential borrower’s story.”

Marshall added: “Second charge lending has much to offer those who are looking to raise capital but are finding the remortgage route impassable.”

Figures from the Finance and Leasing Association showed that second charge mortgage volumes had dropped 71 per cent year-on-year in June with just 661 new agreements arranged.

The value of new business in the month reached £27m, a decline of 74 per cent compared to last year.

Hope Capital appoints former Together underwriter

Hope Capital appoints former Together underwriter


Watson (pictured) has joined the lender from Together, where he was senior bridging underwriter. He also previously worked as an underwriter for Evolutions Finance and is CeMAP-qualified from the London Institute of Banking & Finance. 

In July, Hope Capital said it was looking to hire underwriters, business development managers and portfolio case managers to deal with a surge in new business and plans to continue recruiting staff during the autumn. 

Watson said: “It’s a great time to be joining a forward-looking lender like Hope Capital. I am a firm believer in going above and beyond to get the deal done for brokers and borrowers, and Hope Capital’s determination to do just that is one of the things that attracted me to the firm. 

“I am looking forward to focusing on the unique role that bridging finance plays in helping people achieve their aspirations, and to putting my broader financial services experience to good use for Hope Capital and its customers.” 

Gary Bailey, managing director of Hope Capital, added: “Our doors are always open to new talent. Mike is a very welcome addition to the Hope Capital family. He brings with him a strong track record and in-depth knowledge of the bridging sector. 

“Strong underwriting and relationship skills are essential to bridging, so to be able to continue on our current growth path, we were particularly keen to strengthen further this key part of the business. 

“Mike has demonstrated very clearly to us that he has the dynamic attitude we look for at Hope Capital, and that we know will drive success for himself and the business.” 

Avamore completes two-day bridge

Avamore completes two-day bridge


The transaction had a loan to value (LTV) of 64.6 per cent and was issued for a six-month term.

It will then be refinanced onto a pre-agreed development facility with Avamore Capital.

The borrower bid for a development site at auction and Avamore originally issued terms for a development loan however, the borrower was under pressure to exchange on his purchase and did not want to lose the site.

Further reports, documentation and checks were required for the completion of the development loan, so Avamore restructured the deal into a bridge followed by a development loan.

Avamore re-issued bridging terms to the borrower and the broker Dynamo and, after these were accepted, the deal was underwritten in two days to ensure that the borrower would receive the funds for purchase within the required time frame.

The site has prior planning to be demolished and replaced with a two-storey building of three self-contained flats.

Avamore said it took comfort in the strength of the scheme, the borrower’s previous experience on similar projects and the expected value of the completed property. The lender was therefore confident in the revised deal structure it offered to the broker’s customer.

Ying Tan, founder and chief executive of Dynamo, said: “Avamore were extremely helpful from the outset. We’ve been impressed by their willingness to adapt to changing circumstances and ability to move quickly to meet our client’s timescale.

“These are certainly qualities that as a broker we value highly and we look forward to working with Avamore on future projects.”

Adam Butler, Avamore’s relationship manager, added: “I am really pleased that we were able to get this transaction over the line.

“It’s the first time we have worked with the borrower and broker and so it was more important than ever that we maintained clear lines of communication.

“They were transparent about the borrower’s situation throughout which meant that we were ready to react to whatever he needed to ensure that the deal didn’t fall through.

“It was great teamwork and I am really looking forward to re-financing the project onto a development facility as we had originally planned. Things are rarely straightforward and so, I’m pleased that we were able to get the best outcome for the customer despite some unexpected challenges.”