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BTL brokers showing increased confidence

Four out of 10 BTL brokers expect to write more business in the next 12 months, Paragon Bank’s Financial Adviser Confidence Tracker (FACT) Index has revealed.

The survey of more than 200 intermediaries showed that 41% of advisors said they expect more buy-to-let business, a slight dip on the 43% recorded in the first quarter of 2020, but up on the 38% from the final quarter of last year.

Just over a quarter (28%) of intermediaries expect buy-to-let mortgage levels to remain stable.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank Managing Director of Mortgages, said: “Despite the buffeting that coronavirus has caused to the mortgage market, and housing sector more broadly, there is clearly still strong and stable demand for buy-to-let via intermediaries, which is reflected in the results of this survey.

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“We have seen a solid rebound in buy-to-let business since the housing market reopened in mid-May and landlords have been unlocking capital to invest and grow their portfolios further. We expect to see increased demand for rented property underpinning growth in the coming months as people delay house purchase or cannot obtain a mortgage with the removal of higher loan to value products in the residential market.”

Of those intermediaries forecasting an increase in buy-to-let business, confidence was stronger amongst directly authorised firms (46%) than appointed representatives (36%). Confidence was also firmer in sole adviser organisations (47%) than firms with between two to three advisers (34%) and four or more advisers (37%).

Richard added: “Coronavirus has had a clear and damaging impact on the economy and the UK as a whole, but the long-term fundamentals underpinning demand for buy-to-let remain unchanged. The UK has a growing population with increasing numbers of households and the private rented sector will provide a good quality home for many of them.”

Source: Property118

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HSBC returns to pre-lockdown timetable for valuations and revives buy-to-let

HSBC is making buy-to-let mortgages available once again and has cleared its backlog of physical valuations in England and Scotland.

Easing of restrictions have enabled the lender to make the changes which will mean physical valuations will now work to a pre-lockdown timetable.

It also announced it would be re-starting physical valuations in Northern Ireland today (Monday). Meanwhile, in Wales, physical valuations were due to start when the country’s lockdown restrictions are eased.

News of the return of its buy-to-let mortgages will come as good news to landlords who can now apply for these products through online or telephone applications direct from HSBC UK.

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Restrictions on the movement of people and access to properties introduced as part of the Covid-19 lockdown meant that HSBC – along with many other lenders – was forced to change the way it approached the valuation of properties to ensure it was providing responsible lending.

Michelle Andrews, head of buying a home, at HSBC UK explained: “Where we could we expanded our use of desktop and automated valuations, so mortgage applications could continue.

“In some cases, like higher LTV applications and buy-to-let mortgages it is an essential part of the process, so unfortunately those applications had to be paused.

“I am pleased to say that we have now, with the help of our corporate valuations partners, addressed our backlog of physical valuations in England and Scotland and those mortgages that were on hold are progressing, taking those buying a home one step closer to a potentially dream move.

“Plus, as we are now in a position where we can satisfy our requirement for a physical valuation in a safe compliant way, we are also able to provide buy-to-let mortgages again for landlords.”

Andrews added: “We have shown we can work with our valuers at pace when physical valuations become possible, with appointments already in the diary in Northern Ireland for Monday.

“We are looking forward to being able to progress with physical valuations in Wales as soon as the lockdown rules ease.”

By Kate Saines

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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Barclays Mortgages adds products to Help to Buy and BTL ranges

Barclays Mortgages has introduced a range of new products across its Help to Buy and buy-to-let (BTL) ranges.

The products being introduced include, for its Scotland Help to Buy range, 2.29% 2-year and 2.39% 3-year fixed rates, both with £0 product fees, 80% loan-to-value ration (LTV), with a minimum loan of £25,000 and maximum of £160,000.

In its Help to Buy range, it is offering 1.75% 2-year and 1.89% 5-year fixed rates.

Accord Buy to Let expands 60-65% LTV range and reduces rates
These have £749 product fees, 75% LTV, minimum loans of £25,000 and maximum loans of £450,000.

Barclays Mortgages’ Green Home Help to Buy range sees the addition of 1.69% 2-year and 1.84% 5-year fixed rates, with £749 product fees, 75% LTV, minimum loans of £25,000 and maximum loans of £450,000.

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In its London Help to Buy range, it has added 1.36% 2-year and 1.63% 5-year fixed rates.

These have £749 product fees, 55% LTVs, minimum loans of £25,000 and maximums of £330,000.

In the BTL remortgage range, Barclays Mortgages has added three new products: 1.86% 2-year fixed, 2.19% 5-year fixed, and 2.55% 2-year fixed.

All three are subject to 75% LTVs, minimums of £35,000 and maximums of £500,000.

Where the first two include a £1,795 product fee, the 2.55% 2-year fixed rate does not have a fee.

In addition, Barclays Mortgages is also introducing new products up to 80% LTV for existing customers, while making its 85% LTV and above products available for rate switch only.

By Jessica Bird

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Kensington relaunches residential and buy-to-let products

Kensington Mortgages has resumed lending across its residential and buy-to-let ranges up to 75% LTV.

On Kensington’s Select range, rates start from 4.29% for a two-year fix and 4.49% for a five-year fix rate. The Select range will have a maximum loan amount of £750,000 and £500,000 for Core, Right to Buy and buy-to-let products.

Kensington Mortgages has also launched a non-physical valuation solution for digital valuations. The new software programme will apply to all residential new purchase and remortgage cases, as well as buy-to-let remortgages.

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Craig McKinlay, new business director at Kensington Mortgages, said: “This is an unprecedented time for everyone – customers, lenders and the industry alike – and we’ve been working hard to reintroduce our 75% LTV range. We want to help our brokers and customers as best as we can during this time and still provide accessible funding options.

“We have experienced an industry-wide challenge obtaining physical valuations and have been working had to produce our non-physical valuation solution, which we are pleased to now have in place too. We are constantly reviewing our market position to keep up to date with official guidance and industry best practice in these exceptional times.”

By ROZI JONES

Source: Financial Reporter

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Virgin Money relaunches buy-to-let and residential products

Virgin Money is relaunching both resi and buy-to-let mortgages after having paused new lending at the start of last week.

The lender has increased its use of desktop valuations and will now be able to extend its core range for properties valued between £80,000 and £500,000.

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Virgin will now be lending up to 75% loan-to-value (LTV) with two, three and 5-year fixed rates for residential remortgages and 65% LTV for residential purchase deals with free valuations starting from 1.62%.

On the buy-to-let from purchase deals are available up to 60% LTV with £300 cashback and free valuation starting from 1.45% whilst the remortgage LTV has increased to 60% LTV.

Virgin has also had to make some temporary changes to its lending policy which will see it unable to accept any form of variable income (overtime, commission, bonus). Affordability will only be assessed on basic salary.

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Where an employed customer is designated as furloughed, or a self-employed customer has applied for the self-employed income support scheme, their income will not be used in the affordability assessment.

Personal income will not be accepted on buy-to-let applications where there is a rental shortfall between 100% and 145%.

By Ryan Fowler

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Barclays issues payment holidays for BTL customers

Barclays will now allow buy-to-let mortgage customers to request a mortgage payment holiday.

BTL borrowers can now apply for a mortgage holiday through an online form on the lender’s website.

Furthermore, the bank said customers could access additional information on repayment holidays through its dedicated coronavirus hub.

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Last week, Barclays said it would not be offering BTL borrowers the option of a repayment holiday.

The mortgage holiday repayment initiative, which was first announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak two weeks ago, has seen lenders across the country alter their policy criteria and implement three month repayment holidays for customers.

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer