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Buy-to-let product choice reaches one-year high, the analysis has revealed

Product choice in the buy-to-let market is broadening but rates are also on the rise, the latest analysis from Moneyfacts.co.uk has revealed.

Figures released today show availability of products is at a one-year high, having risen for the fifth consecutive month to reach 2,333.

Moneyfacts said the sector had recovered to 81% of pre-pandemic levels (compared to 68% recovery in the residential sector) and now offered the highest number of products seen since last March, providing landlords with a greater level of choice.

Yet, at the same time, the average two-year fixed rate was 0.28% higher year-on-year – at 3.05% was the highest recorded since June 2019 (also 3.05%).

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The five-year equivalent at 3.41% increased 0.17% compared to a year ago and was currently the highest since September of 2019, when it reached 3.44%.

Month-on-month, the only borrowing tiers where rates had fallen since February were at 60% loan-to-value (LTV).

Moneyfacts also revealed how the proportion of the fixed rate buy-to-let sector which was offering fee-free deals or incentives – such as free valuations or free legal fees – had also reduced year-on-year.

This, Moneyfacts, said, indicated landlords may have to search a little harder for deals with the right incentive package for them.

Meanwhile, the proportion of the market where cashback was available has risen to 25% – a 4% improvement on last year.

Eleanor Williams, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “There is no doubt that the impact of the pandemic has been polarising, with the buy-to-let sector not escaping from this trend.

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“There may therefore be landlords whose focus will be on cutting costs and increasing margins where possible, perhaps by refinancing their existing buy-to-let mortgages.

“Equally, there may be some who are now in the fortunate position of being able to consider investing in a rental property for the first time.”

Williams also explained how the only LTV tier where average fixed rates did not increase this month was at 60% LTV, where both the two and five-year average fixed rates fell by 0.38% and 0.27% respectively.

She added: “It is important to note though that these are averages, and therefore while representative of the market as a whole, there are some very competitively priced products available, with some – depending on LTV and criteria – available at below 2%.

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“Therefore, those who are hoping to refinance or take on a new deal would do well to shop around.”

Buy-to-let mortgage market analysis (Source: Moneyfacts)
Mar-20Feb-21Mar-21
BTL product count – fixed and variable rates2,8972,1002,333
BTL two-year fixed – all LTVs2.77%2.97%3.05%
BTL two-year fixed – 80% LTV3.56%3.97%4.14%
BTL two-year fixed – 60% LTV1.89%2.52%2.14%
BTL five-year fixed – all LTVs3.24%3.32%3.41%
BTL five-year fixed – 80% LTV3.98%4.11%4.29%
BTL five-year fixed – 60% LTV2.31%2.79%2.52%
Buy-to-let fixed mortgage market analysis (Source: Moneyfacts)
Mar-20Feb-21Mar-21
Deals with no product fee475 (19%)254 (14%)301 (15%)
Deals with free/refunded legal fees840 (34%)614 (34%)614 (30%)
Deals with a free/refunded valuation1352 (55%)774 (43%)789 (39%)
Deals with cashback531 (21%)307 (17%)503 (25%)
Data shown is as at first working day of month, unless otherwise stated. The % shown is the proportion of deals out of the fixed mortgage market. Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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Paragon Bank launches 80% LTV BTL range for energy efficient properties

Paragon Bank has launched a range of 80% LTV buy-to-let mortgages, including a market-leading rate for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), specifically for properties with an energy performance rating of A to C.

The new range aims to encourage landlords to invest in energy efficient properties and increase the proportion of A-C rated properties in the private rented sector (PRS).

The number of properties in the PRS with an energy rating of between A-C has increased by 272% over the past decade to 1.8 million, but approximately six out of 10 homes in the sector are still at grades D or below.

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The five-year fixed rates start from 3.99% for purchase and remortgage and include free valuations, no product fees and £350 cashback. They are available for portfolio landlords on single self-contained properties and HMO.

Richard Rowntree, managing director of Mortgages at Paragon Bank, said: “Landlords have made great strides in adding more energy efficient homes to the PRS – or upgrading properties to C or above standard – over the past decade. However, more needs to be done as the Government moves towards its net zero carbon target by 2050 and landlords have a key role to play in that.

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“Our new range of products at 80% LTV for homes with an energy rating of C or above will be an incentive for landlords to add energy efficient homes to the sector, benefitting tenants through lower energy bills and the environment through reduced consumption.”

Under Government proposals, homes in the PRS will need a minimum EPC rating of C for new tenancies by 2025 and all homes in the sector will require this rating by 2028.

Richard Rowntree concluded: “If landlords are to improve the energy efficiency of PRS stock, they need the finance to enable them to do so. Making sure there are attractive options to add new stock, whilst recognising the efforts to upgrade existing properties, is an important element of this.”

Source: Property Wire

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Majority of landlords waiting for lockdown measures to ease before investing

Over half (59.8%) of BTL landlords are waiting for lockdown measures to ease before investing in properties, according to the National Landlord Index by Accommodation.co.uk.

The research highlights that UK landlords still see the rental market as a safe place to invest especially as the stock market has been so volatile during the pandemic.

This desire from landlords to expand their property portfolios in 2021 is reflected in the demand for buy-to-let mortgages with the index revealing that nearly two-fifths (37.8%) of landlords are planning to apply for one this year.

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As the UK starts to see the benefits the vaccination has on the economy, Accommodation.co.uk says it is “clear” that landlords are optimistic that this recovery will be reflected in house prices long-term.

Aaron Short, founder and chief executive at Accommodation.co.uk, said: “We are always listening to our landlords and tenants to understand the needs of the market and this is why the National Landlord Index remains so important.

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“Understanding how BTL landlords are being impacted by lockdown measures and what their plans are post-pandemic help us to understand the future lettings market. It is great to see landlords looking to expand portfolios and generally positive about the future and this certainly mirrors the growth we have seen at Accommodation.co.uk.

“We have been at the forefront of updating this archaic industry and we believe our award-winning model offers tenants and landlords the best solution in the current market.”

Source: Property Wire

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Landlords intend to continue purchasing after SDLT deadline

BTL landlords intend to continue purchasing rental property after the stamp duty holiday has reached its conclusion, according to Foundation Home Loans.

The data revealed that 16% of landlords intend to purchase over the next 12 months, 48% plan to do so in Q1, 41% in Q2, 28% in Q3, and 29% in Q4.

In addition, just 14% of landlords said that they would abort their transaction if completion before the SDLT deadline did not look achievable.

Of those landlords intending to purchase in Q1, 65% said they were very or quite confident they would complete by 31 March.

When the respondents were questioned whether they believed the government would extend the stamp duty deadline, 28% said yes, while 31% disagreed.

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In addition, only 4% of those surveyed said they were purchasing because of the availability of the stamp duty holiday

A quarter of those intending to purchase in 2021 said they were holding off purchasing as they believed property prices were currently inflated.

The research was undertaken by BVA BDRC and carried out between December and January with the results based on 846 online interviews.

George Gee, commercial director at Foundation Home Loans, said: “As we know landlords think long and hard before adding to their portfolios and, as our research reveals, they are unlikely to just confine any purchase activity to the first quarter of this year in order to simply benefit from the stamp duty holiday.

“There are a number of positive results to come out of our exclusive research, not least landlords’ continued intention to keep on purchasing after the deadline has passed, and the news that many BTL landlords will not abort their transactions if there is no extension and they look unlikely to complete by 31 March.

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“In that regard, the next month and a half is very important for the sector.

“Foundation has put in place significant extra resources to our completions team in order to ensure we can complete as many cases as possible by the end of March.

“Looking beyond Q1, there will clearly be ongoing opportunities for advisers active in the landlord borrower space, and all the signals point to significant activity taking place in both the purchase and remortgage sectors.

“We should not forget that many landlords’ special rates are coming to an end over the months ahead, especially those that bought prior to the last stamp duty surcharge increase for additional homeowners back in Q1 2016.

“Foundation’s new range of buy-to-let products and our new limited edition limited company deals should offer landlord clients a variety of options, in order to achieve their aims through 2021.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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LendInvest reduces rates and increases max loan sizes on BTL suite

LendInvest has made a host of changes to its buy-to-let (BTL) suite of products, including rate reductions, the introduction of higher loan-to-value (LTV) products, and an increase in maximum loan sizes.

LendInvest has reduced rates across its standard BTL range, with its 80% LTV product now available at 3.89%.

The lender has also reduced rates and introduced a new 80% LTV product for small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), while increasing the maximum loan size for small HMOs to £1m.

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LendInvest has also introduced a new 75% LTV product for large HMOs with a maximum loan size of £1.5m, and has increased its definition of a large HMO from 10 to 15 bedrooms.

For multi-unit freehold blocks (MUFBs), a new maximum loan size of £2m has been introduced at 70% LTV, and £1.5m at 75% LTV, with rate reductions across the range.

The lender will now be offering cashback towards legal fees of 0.25% of the loan amount up to £1,000 on qualifying five year fixed rate products.

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Andy Virgo, sales director at LendInvest, said: “It’s an exciting time at LendInvest right now as we kick the year off with new funding for our BTL product and an extensive refresh for our BTL product suite.

“As the market continues to gather momentum, we are continuously looking to make property finance more simple, and deliver the products that portfolio landlords need in a constantly evolving economic landscape.”

In January 2021, LendInvest announced a new £500m funding partnership with J.P. Morgan to finance its BTL product.

By Jessica Bird

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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These 10 UK cities are the most profitable for buy to let landlords

CIA Landlord has revealed its annual ranking of the best UK cities to buy to let for 2021, with some areas proving to be more profitable than others. The analysis is based on the average property price, mortgage cost, average rent income, and the monthly costs of being a landlord to calculate the monthly profit. Listed are the 10 cities with the highest monthly earnings for landlords.

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  1. Brighton
    Average property price: £410,541. Average rent: £2,044. Monthly mortgage cost: £1,411. Monthly profit: £571.85
  2. Bangor
    Average property price: £185,833. Average rent: £1,193. Monthly mortgage cost: £639. Monthly profit: £500.53.
  3. Portsmouth
    Average property price: £243,945.. Average rent: £1,379. Monthly mortgage cost: £838. Monthly profit: £479.27.
  4. Leeds
    Average property price: £228,424. Average rent: £1,323. Monthly mortgage cost: £785. Monthly profit: £477.60.
  5. Lancaster
    Average property price: £210,979. Average rent: £873. Monthly mortgage cost: £725. Monthly profit: £474.54.
  6. Bristol
    Average property price: £344,667. Average rent: £1,699. Monthly mortgage cost: £1,184. Monthly profit: £453.20.
  7. Coventry
    Average property price: £209,309. Average rent: £1,213. Monthly mortgage cost: £719. Monthly profit: £432.27.
  8. Manchester
    Average property price: £200,517. Average rent: £1,176. Monthly mortgage cost: £689. Monthly profit: £425.48.
  9. Nottingham
    Average property price: £225,917. Average rent: £1,248. Monthly mortgage cost: £776. Monthly profit: £410.21.
  10. Salford
    Average property price: £172,622. Average rent: £1,048. Monthly mortgage cost: £593. Monthly profit: £393.33.

By Claire Schofield

Source: The Scotsman

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More landlords look to expand outside London and the South East

One in 10 landlords plan to purchase buy-to-let properties this year, up from 3% at the end last year, Source Business research shows.

The rise in landlord confidence and a change in tenant priorities following the lockdowns is leading investors to a move away from London and the South East, to less built-up areas.

Increasingly tenants want greater home working space and leisure time, resulting into a spike in demand for larger properties.

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Mish Liyanage, managing director of The Mistoria Group, said: “We are seeing a rise in professional landlords looking to acquire affordable terraced properties with gardens and apartments in the North West. Lower prices, high yields, expanding population and Northern Power house initiative/HS2 have contributed to this interest.

“A significant proportion of the professional landlords that we work with are located in the Midlands and the South, but want to invest in the North West, because of the attractive property prices, high yields and occupancy rates. Many investors are moving away from London and the South East and are searching for regions that give them exceptional returns.”

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At the end of 2019, 82% of landlords claimed that they had no plans to acquire another property in 2020, while just 3% were intending to add more than a single property to their portfolio.

Soon after the stamp duty holiday was implemented, 10% of landlords said they are now planning to purchase more properties and build on their portfolio, while just 5% said they had any intention to sell any existing properties.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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A positive outlook for BTL: Seeking more than a room with a view

As the final quarter of 2020 begins – following an unprecedented six months – the buy-to-let (BTL) market is bouncing back strongly, in a way that few commentators predicted a few months ago, in my opinion.

The residential and buy-to-let markets both felt a significant impact during the initial stages of the pandemic. Public health measures made it difficult for surveyors to visit properties, contributing to nearly two months of disruption in the housing market. However, since property valuations became possible again, demand has returned, and the UK property market is demonstrating its resilience.

It has quickly become apparent to me that landlords and investors have not lost their appetite within the buy-to-let sector either. Demand for new tenancies has risen and historically such increases have often continued when supported by a growing market for property sales, as we are seeing now. The Chancellor’s stamp duty cut has further fuelled interest.

In fact, by July the number of new tenancies was nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, according to The Deposit Protection Service’s (DPS) quarterly Rent Index.

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Most of the growth in new tenancies has been at properties owned by professional landlords, and we expect to see this trend increasing. Professional landlords with reliable portfolios of good properties are often in a better position to absorb financial shocks.

According to the Savills Global Market Sentiment Survey, concerns over the pandemic are driving more UK residents to seek properties in rural locations.

The rise of home working means there are fewer benefits in living close to workplaces, particularly those in city centres. More people seem to be taking up the chance to find a property with a garden or a garage – or simply a bigger home, whether to accommodate greater home working or simply to enjoy more space. Such properties are more plentiful in the shires, meaning demand in urban areas may continue to fluctuate.

The Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors’ (RICS) August survey found that 83% of surveyors in the UK anticipate greater demand for homes with gardens or balconies in the next two years and that 68% expect the desirability of properties with a ‘more private’ outdoor space to grow. The increased demand for properties with specifically ‘roomier’ features has led to confidence in the housing market rising to a four-year high.

Overall, I believe this represents a relatively positive picture for brokers, professional landlords and buy-to-let investors. The fact that rates are low, loan-to-values (LTVs) are almost back to pre-pandemic levels can only go to support this positive picture.

Demand for rental properties is likely to increase in many areas, as renters seek tenancies with more than just ‘a room with a view’ to make staying and working at home more comfortable.

By Paul Fryers

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Salford most profitable UK city for BTLs according to new study

A new study has revealed that Salford is the most profitable buy-to-let city for landlords, following the stamp duty holiday pushing UK house prices to an all-time high.

The research by CIA Landlord reveals that Salford, with an average house price of £173,311 and average rent prices of £1,052 per month, is the best city for landlords looking to buy a new property for buy-to-let purposes.

CIA Landlord calculated the best cities for buy-to-lets under the Government’s latest stamp duty holiday by analysing the average house price, rental price and stamp duty savings in every UK city for the cheapest home prices and highest rental yield in order to calculate profitability.

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Manchester follows closely behind Salford with house prices averaging at £193,681 and rental incomes at £1,141 per month. Leeds, Portsmouth and Belfast also feature in the top five buy-to-let hotspots.

High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire ranked as the worst city for landlords purchasing a buy-to-let property, with average house prices reaching £430,891 and rental prices averaging at £945 per month. Cambridge also saw low profitability margins, with average house prices at £448,432 and rental income averaging £1,080 per month. Reading, Worcester and Watford also feature on the bottom of the table in terms of profitability.

In the capital, Havering was the best borough for profitability according to the study, with house prices averaging £395,832 and monthly rental prices reaching £1,895. Alternatively, with average house prices reaching over £2m and average monthly rent coming to £4,003, properties in Kensington and Chelsea see the lowest profitability margins.

Source: Property Wire

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Paragon launches 70% LTV buy-to-let fixed rate deals

Paragon Bank has launched a range of 70% loan-to-value (LTV) two and 5-year fixed rate deals.

The specialist buy-to-let mortgage lender has launched new 70% LTV products for both portfolio and non-portfolio landlords across single self-contained (SSC) properties and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

The 70% LTV range starts from 2.95% for a 2-year fixed rate for SSC properties, and all products are offered with no valuation fee.

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The products are available for purchase and remortgage and complement Paragon’s existing 75% LTV product offering.

Moray Hulme, Paragon director of mortgage sales, said: “These new products offer landlords more choice at a time when product availability more broadly has been constrained and will suit landlords with greater levels of equity to invest.

“Demand remains robust for both new purchase and remortgage activity, despite the current difficult conditions.”

Paragon has been adding to its product range over the past few weeks. At the beginning of May it launched a market-first Discounted SVR product to support landlords through a period of uncertainty.

By Ryan Fowler

Source: Mortgage Introducer