07 September 2012

Buy to Let takes a hit

The Buy to Let market has been hit hard this week as two of the major players make significant changes to their criteria.

BM Solutions (part of the Lloyds Banking Group) have withdrawn their House to House product.  What does this mean?  Well, the majority of investment mortgages, or better known as Buy to Lets work on a required rental calculation.  Most use a 125% rule.  Therefore the rental payment must be 125% of the monthly mortgage payment, usually based on the actual interest pay rate.  If the rental payment was short in calculation, then the loan offered would be reduced to fit.

The now defunct House to House product ignored this requirement and looked at the Buy to Let using the customer’s income and expenditure.  It was one of the only products in the market that offered this option and was incredibly useful for properties where rental coverage did not cover the mortgage payments by the required rental calculation.  The lender would consider the customers income when considering loan amounts.
The Mortgage Works (part of Nationwide) have also made a number of changes to their Buy to Let offerings.  These include the withdrawal of their regulated Buy to Let offering.   A regulated Buy to Let is where a sizeable portion of the property is rented out to a family member.  They have also withdrawn the option for clients to buy a property from a relative. 

With property prices still low, First Time Buyers struggling to get on the property ladder and returns on savings still relatively unattractive, many have invested in property as a long term investment.  This area of the mortgage market has been buoyant and as such, many lenders are incurring service issues.  So these are substantial moves by two major lenders begging the question if this is the start of more negative things to come?   Let’s hope not!

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