Forgive me, but I’m afraid I will be starting this month’s article by talking about politics. Yes, I’m sure you’re all sick to the back teeth of Westminster, but I can assure you this is not going to be about Brexit or the squabbling in the Conservative Party.
No, I’d like to instead briefly look at the government’s current stance on buy-to-let.
In the past the Conservative Party would have been the party of choice for most landlords but clearly that is no longer the case.
It’s widely accepted that there has been nothing short of an all-out attack on the sector under the Conservative governments of the last few years.
However, it seems not all of the party is out to hit landlords hard.
Indeed, in a blog on the Conservative Party website former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith urged the government to stop punishing landlords and claimed: “It is time for us to reconsider the way we treat private landlords who buy houses to rent.”
Could it be? Can we actually start to believe there could be some more u-turns on the horizon? We live in hope.
Now, onto this month’s market news.
Santander launched a range of new buy-to-let deals including a five-year fixed rate at 2.34%.
It is available for purchase and remortgage up to 60% LTV and comes with a £1,495 product fee.
The Spanish giant has also launched a five-year fix at 2.94% which is available up to 75% loan to value (LTV).
Meanwhile it also introduced a new 4.50% affordability rate for five-year fixed rates.
Coventry made things a little easier for landlords looking to remortgage by announcing it will now allow remortgage applications with no additional borrowing to be stress tested at a rate of 5%.
All other buy-to-let lending criteria remains unchanged, so its current tiered ICRs of 125% or 140% will apply.
Precise Mortgages revamped its buy to let range. It will now offer a two-year tracker from 3.19% with no product fee and a five-year fixed rate at 3.69% with a £2,495 fee.
Portfolio landlords can now have up to 20 buy-to-let mortgages with the lender and there is no limit on the number of buy-to-let mortgages a borrower has with other lenders.
Elsewhere Paragon Mortgages went live with phase two of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) changes, two months ahead of the deadline.
In a blog featured on its website the lender said: “Paragon has always asked for information on all the properties a landlord holds and on the full range of their economic activity so that we can assess the landlord’s business in the round and consider the impact of the new lending on that business.
“So for the most part you should not see major changes in our process and approach for Paragon Mortgages,” it added.