Habito launches first buy-to-let tracker products

Habito launches first buy-to-let tracker products

The trackers are available for the whole term of the mortgage, rather than a set initial number of years. The lender said that this combined with no ERCs gives landlords complete flexibility with their mortgage.

The products are available up to 65 per cent loan to value (LTV), starting at 2.5 per cent above base rate. This comes with a 1.5 per cent fee.

From 80 per cent LTV upwards the rate is 2.85 per cent above the base rate. This tier comes with a two per cent fee.

The rates are available for purchase and remortgage, and for individual landlords or limited company landlords.

The products can be combined with their cashback bonus, which they introduced in November 2020.

Brokers can access the products through both L&G, Dynamo, Connect and Tenet.

Alan Fitzpatrick (pictured), vice president of lending at Habito, said: “We believe our new tracker range will be of interest to landlords who might want to ride out the current period of high inflation, to when the fixed-rate pricing landscape improves.”

Ying Tan invests in AI-led proptech start-up

Ying Tan invests in AI-led proptech start-up


The Bristol-based Propflo recently closed its pre-seed funding round of £180,000, led by Tan, for the platform which aims to give sellers and buyers transparency. 

The platform has been compared to credit reporting company Experian, as it gives homes a proprietary property score which homeowners can add further detail to. The score is presented similarly to a credit rating. It is calculated based on information such as how close a home is to amenities like schools, healthcare facilities, green space, or transport links.  

Buyers can also give more accurate transparency on their readiness to purchase by providing information on whether they have obtained a mortgage in principle and the size of their deposit.

Propflo also offers to connect sellers to property professionals and buyers to mortgage brokers, which is expected to speed up the selling and buying process.  

Tan has an extensive history in the mortgage and property sector, having created a property portfolio before founding broker and packager Dynamo in 2006. 

He left the company last year and has since become the non-executive chairman of mortgage criteria searching system, Knowledge Bank, after acquiring a stake in the business. 

Tan will join the Propflo board as a non-executive director along with his colleague Penny Desborough, who is also non-executive director of Knowledge Bank. Desborough worked as Tan’s executive assistant for 14 years at Dynamo. Angel investor Robin Balen was also part of the round. 

Luke Loveridge (pictured, right), founder and CEO of Propflo, said: “I really admire what Ying has accomplished in the mortgage intermediary sector, and his knowledge of both the mortgage and property markets will be a huge asset to Propflo.  

“When he and I discussed the opportunity I felt that our values aligned and we could work very well together to build a great business. I’m also delighted that Robin has also participated in the round; his advice in previous proptech ventures proved invaluable.” 

Tan (pictured, centre) said: “Propflo is a super exciting opportunity for me. When I exited my business, I wanted to back and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. Luke already has an excellent proven track record, and has all the amazing attributes that I look for in founders.” 

He said Propflo was a “revolutionary product” with ambitious plans to disrupt the marketplace and create a better property buying experience. 

Tan added: “This makes it incredibly exciting for me and compliments my other recent investments. I am delighted to be part of its next chapter of growth and the exciting journey that lies ahead.” 

Daniel Moyo (pictured, left), co-founder and chief data scientist of Propflo, said: “Adding the market-specific and commercial experience of Ying and Robin to the business creates an even stronger, well-balanced team.” 

Skipton BS changes BTL criteria to include new build flats and cuts stress rate

Skipton BS changes BTL criteria to include new build flats and cuts stress rate

It has also reduced its stress rate for long-term fixed BTL rates and increased its minimum BTL property value.

Skipton said that it would lend on BTL new build flats up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV).

It added that it has lowered the stress rate for landlords on five-year fixed rates or longer from five per cent to 4.5 per cent.

The minimum BTL property value has also risen from £50,000 to £75,000.

Tony Field, sales director at Dynamo, said: “The introduction of lending on new build flats is a very positive move that will undoubtedly be broadly welcomed by investors in the sector.

“With stress rate calculations also decreasing and greater flexibility being allowed on terms, Skipton are demonstrating their support of the landlord community and the wider Buy to Let market.”

John Scrivens, regional manager at Skipton Building Society for Intermediaries, added that the mutual regularly sought broker feedback, and recently the topic of energy efficient property was becoming a “regular conversation point with landlords”.

He added: “It’s exciting that we are entering the new build flat market for BTL while keeping things simple by lending up to 75 per cent on them too, in line with our maximum LTV’s on BTLs.”

Fine tuning of BTL products continue as lenders react to rate rises – Armstrong

Fine tuning of BTL products continue as lenders react to rate rises – Armstrong

We are still seeing plenty of sensible levels of repricing taking place throughout the sector. This is hardly headline-grabbing news but there are still plenty of positive moves being made, so let’s focus on these.

In a further addition to the seven-year fixed rate arena, West One Loans launched a series of new products to its buy-to-let product range, including seven-year fixed payrate products, both standard and specialist, and a new lifetime tracker range, also available for standard and specialist properties.

All of the products are available from 65 per cent up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV) and the standard seven-year product is priced from 3.44 per cent with a 1.5 per cent fee. The specialist range is designed to finance more complex transactions such as homes in multiple occupancy (HMOs) and multi-unit freehold blocks (MUFBs). The seven-year product is priced from 3.64 per cent with a two per cent fee.


Going green

Foundation Home Loans expanded its green buy-to-let product range to specialist property types including short-term lets and standard HMOs (up to six occupants).

The ABC+ green HMO product has rates starting from 3.44 per cent for 75 per cent LTV on a F2 five-year fixed rate, with a 0.75 per cent fee. The ABC+ green short-term let product has rates starting from 3.94 per cent for 75 per cent LTV, again on an F2 five-year fixed rate, also with a 0.75 per cent fee. Both allow a maximum loan size of £1m. Rates are tiered depending on the EPC rating of the property with those at an A level securing the most competitive rate.

The specialist lender has also made changes to its fee-assisted buy-to-let product range including fee cuts, the introduction of new 80 per cent LTV products, and new limited edition specialist fee-assisted products.


Buy-to-let adjustments

Habito announced a string of enhancements to its buy-to-let range, with new longer-term fixed rates at seven and 10 years, and a maximum LTV of 85 per cent. Its newly launched 85 per cent LTV products are available across the full range of terms for properties with an EPC rating of A to C and where the property value is worth a minimum of £100,000. The lender has also increased its maximum loan size from £1m to £2m to help further support landlords in London and the South East.

Coventry for Intermediaries added mortgage products across its owner-occupier, offset and buy-to-let mortgage ranges, as well as two tracker mortgages.


Bolstered specialist underwriting

Finally, from a service perspective, Landbay has created a portfolio underwriting team specifically to cater for professional landlords who own rental properties in a portfolio of between £2m and £15m. The team of five underwriters are all experienced in dealing with large and complex buy-to-let cases.

As previously stated, this is certainly not an all-encompassing selection of the product-related moves being made by lenders across the buy-to-let sector. Repricing has been a daily occurrence in recent times but these progressive product moves are – fingers crossed – at least more likely to be still around by the time you get around to reading this.

Connells marks a ‘fantastic’ 2021 as mortgage division excels

Connells marks a ‘fantastic’ 2021 as mortgage division excels

The group put some of this down to the performance of its mortgage services business which recorded a £75m increase in revenue and generated over £35bn in mortgage lending, a 15 per cent rise on 2020.

The figure for mortgage lending combines Connells Group and Countrywide figures for the full year on a like-for-like basis following the takeover of Countrywide by Connells in March 2021.

Following the acquisition the group said its mortgage business underwent the “largest integration project” in the company’s history. This was done to align the estate agency mortgage business models.

Going forward, Connells expects to continue investing in its mortgage division with a focus on adding to its 1,300 strong team of mortgage consultants.

During 2021, Connells Group repaid almost half of the £253m loan used to fund the acquisition and made dividend payments of £60m to its parent company Skipton Building Society.

It also said broker firm Dynamo achieved “excellent results” during the year and strengthened its specialist proposition.

Overall, the group ended the year with a total revenue of £1bn, up from £375m in 2020. Meanwhile its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) came to £181.1m, up from £80.5m.

The mortgage and insurance club and network Mortgage Intelligence invested in technology, training and marketing to help members develop their businesses.

In addition, both The New Homes Group and Mortgage Bureau built on their positions in the new-build market including the establishment of its mortgage qualification tool, Stone.

Adrian Scott, Connells Group mortgage services director (pictured), said: “2021 was a fantastic year for us, bringing together Connells Group and Countrywide.

“We’re incredibly proud of the work that has gone into aligning two substantial estate agency-based mortgage businesses, as well as supporting our wider distribution businesses as they strengthen their respective positions in their specialist markets.”

He added: “Looking ahead, we see plenty of opportunity for further business growth across our entire distribution. We will continue to invest at scale in our people and technology, to stay ahead of the curve of innovation in the industry and ensure the customer journey is as efficient as possible.”

Top 10 most read broker stories this week – 11/03/2022

Top 10 most read broker stories this week – 11/03/2022

Commemorating a decade of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries and how to better engage with clients were stories which also held readers’ interest.

Mortgage rates rise as lenders pull deals off market – Moneyfacts

Just Group posts pre-tax loss of £21m following lifetime mortgage disposals

Landlords brace themselves for higher rates with longer term fixes, brokers say

Buy-to-let sector is ‘changeable lending environment’ – Armstrong


A decade of AMI: The biggest achievements, changes and upcoming challenges – Sinclair


Brokers still lean on their own knowledge with the aid of sourcing tools – Marketwatch


Swap rate and mortgage price environment is a complicated picture – Gee


Rising house prices spark interest in affordability – Firth


Brokers reveal how a market niche sent business booming


Engaging with clients is priority #1 for advisers – SimplyBiz

Buy-to-let sector is ‘changeable lending environment’ – Armstrong

Buy-to-let sector is ‘changeable lending environment’ – Armstrong

In such a changeable lending environment, it’s not easy to keep track but here is some of the most recent product-related news at the time of writing.

In terms of launches, CHL Mortgages released its first seven-year fixed rate mortgage. The lender has also increased its maximum loan to value (LTV) for individual and limited company borrowers to 80 per cent, up from 75 per cent.

Foundation Home Loans announced a new BTL product range exclusively for expat landlords.

Foundation’s expat proposition is available to non-SPV (special purpose vehicle) individual landlords who are UK nationals living as expats worldwide, as well as limited company borrowers.

Products will be available for standard BTL, short-term lets, houses in multiple occupation (HMO) and green options all available up to 75 per cent LTV for both purchases and remortgage with rates starting from 3.24 per cent.

Vida introduced a range of limited edition residential and BTL products. The limited edition BTL range includes five-year fixed rates for purchase and remortgage. A standard buy-to-let product at 75 per cent LTV is available at 3.04 per cent with a £1,495 fee and a fee-free equivalent starts at 3.19 per cent. For HMOs, a 75 per cent LTV product is available at 3.19 per cent with a £1,995 fee.

Hinckley and Rugby Building Society relaunched its BTL limited company lending proposition, boosting its current BTL offerings. This includes a five-year fixed rate at 2.95 per cent up to 70 per cent LTV with a £250 application fee and £999 completion fee.

Hanley Economic Building Society launched a five-year BTL fixed rate remortgage special. This is available from 3.03 per cent up to 80 per cent LTV with a £750 product fee and a valuation fee which is subject to property value.


Fleet Mortgages, Aldermore, TML and Paragon make rate changes

When it comes to rate changes, Fleet Mortgages cut rates by 20 basis points across all lifetime tracker products available in its three core ranges – standard, limited company and limited liability partnership and HMO/multi-unit freehold block (MUFB).

Aldermore Bank reduced product switch rates across its residential and BTL ranges for existing customers. BTL rates for individual landlords now start from 2.70 per cent, with reductions of up to 0.65 per cent, while limited company rates have been reduced by up to 60 basis points and are now available from 2.95 per cent.

The Mortgage Lender announced a series of rate cuts across its BTL product range. The lender has repriced its five-year fixed rate products at 75 per cent LTV, with rates now starting at 3.33 per cent for standard properties and 3.45 per cent for HMOs. Both come with a free valuation and either free legal services for purchases or £500 cashback for remortgages.

Rates have also been reduced at 80 per cent LTV, with rates now at 4.05 per cent. The product also comes with a free valuation and either free legal services or £500 cashback. In addition to the product repricing, TML has launched a new five-year mortgage at 3.20 per cent up to 70 per cent LTV with a completion fee of £2,495.

Finally, on the criteria front, Paragon Bank extended the window in which BTL borrowers can remortgage from three months to six months. Paragon will now offer borrowers the chance to remortgage up to six months ahead of their current buy-to-let product reaching maturity.

By the time you read this, additional product modifications are likely to have been made, such is the pace of change throughout the industry. And this only serves to highlight the continued value attached to the advice process and the support and expertise this can offer for a range of borrowers, not just landlords.

Second charge market set to ‘become even more competitive’ – Peach

Second charge market set to ‘become even more competitive’ – Peach

Speaking to Specialist Lending Solutions as part of the Get to Know Your British Specialist Lending Award Winner series, Dynamo’s senior secured loans consultant Rachael Peach (pictured) said: “I believe the second charge market is going to have a really strong start to 2022 and become even more competitive as the year progresses.

“With the cost of living on the rise, more clients may decide to take a close look at their finances to try to reduce their outgoings by consolidating debt. Also, the continuing popularity and necessity of working from home means that I expect the recent increase in property improvements and extensions to continue.”

Peach said lenders had been “amazing and very supportive to brokers in the last year” and that they had been “very fair with criteria and products”.

She said this had made the market “even more competitive”, which was a “really good thing”.

Peach explained: “The second charge market is a very exciting industry and lenders are always looking to make changes and improvements. With regard to clients, I have seen a lot of customers this year looking to do a second [charge] to improve either their financial situation or their property due to Covid-19 and or lockdown.

“Most of the clients are looking beyond Covid-19, however, implementing changes that will improve their lives moving forwards.”


Changes in second charge buy-to-let and self-employed struggles

However, Peach said the emergence of a new lender in the unregulated buy to let market offering low rates could be a challenge for established lenders who may need to revise their buy-to-let second charge proposition to “remain competitive”.

She added that she expected there to be new products and criteria changes as result.

Peach also cited the self-employed sector as one that might struggle in the first six months of the year.

Peach said: “The self-employed are likely to have experienced a bigger decrease in income as a result of lockdown periods, meaning that affordability will be more challenging for them.

“However, the flexibility shown by second charge lenders should ensure an overall strong performance.”


Connells keen for ‘more active role’ in second charges

She added that whilst she was currently the only consultant at Dynamo specialising in second charge mortgages, the acquisition of Connells Group by Dynamo last year presented a “huge opportunity” in 2022.

Peach explained: “Connells are keen to have a more active role in the second charge market and Dynamo will undoubtedly have a big part to play. I am hoping that this new relationship will lead to many more second charge opportunities and to further growth within the department as a direct result.”

The top 10 most read stories on Specialist Lending Solutions this year

The top 10 most read stories on Specialist Lending Solutions this year


This year the specialist lending market was busier than ever, with the stamp duty holiday acting as a catalyst for the housing market especially in the second charge market.

The buy-to-let market was also busy, with Recognise Bank entering the market. Houses in multiple occupancy continued to grow in popularity and changes in the private rented sector are expected to cause a remortgage boom next year.

Readers were also interested in The House Crowd collapsing earlier in the year, OSB’s investigation into a fraudulent £28m funding line and news that Ying Tan would leave Dynamo after it was bought by The Connells Group.

Using second charge to avoid conveyancing and beat stamp duty holiday deadline – Grundy

PRS changes will result in BTL remortgage surge next year – Rowntree

Second home stamp duty surcharge refunds may get cladding-related extension

Let’s not expect miracles from government’s mortgage guarantee scheme – Ganatra

Recognise Bank enters BTL market and targets professional landlords – exclusive

Pros and cons of limited company buy-to-let investing post-Budget – Adams

The House Crowd collapses as P2P lending sector dealt another blow

HMOs could see boost from post-Covid lifestyle changes – Oliver

OSB investigating potential £28m funding line fraud

Ying Tan to exit Dynamo after Connells Group buyout


John Cupis begins role as Dynamo’s managing director

John Cupis begins role as Dynamo’s managing director

Mortgage Solutions broke the exclusive news that Cupis would be joining Dynamo in June of this year.

A well-respected figure in the industry, John Cupis joins Dynamo with more than 30 years’ experience in financial services and 20 years in the mortgage market specifically. His appointment is set to aid further growth and development of Dynamo’s offering within the mortgage sector, following its acquisition by Connells Group in May 2021.

Cupis said: “I am delighted to be joining Dynamo, which benefits from a great team and significant opportunity to build and grow from its already strong base in the specialist, buy-to-let and residential sectors.  Having the backing of Connells Group will enable us to go from strength to strength in the coming years, and I look forward to what’s to come.”

Adrian Scott, Connells Group mortgage services director, added: “This is an excellent appointment for Dynamo. John’s experience and knowledge of the mortgage industry is second to none and, with such a firm background, he is perfectly placed to drive forward our plans for the development of Dynamo.”

Dynamo, which was initially known as The Buy to Let Club until a rebrand in 2019, was founded in 2012 and now supports around 3,000 intermediary partners.

The group was bought by Connells Group in a 100 per cent buyout earlier this year, with Dynamo’s chief executive Ying Tan leaving the business in May.

Connells Group is one of the largest estate agency networks, with over 80 local estate agency brands and other brands including Countrywide, Conveyancing Direct and LMS.