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Refinancing a buy-to-let portfolio is tougher but we can assist


It is two years since the introduction of a stamp duty surcharge for landlords purchasing property, with many investors rushing to buy back in April 2016 to avoid having to pay the extra 3 per cent.

Many of these landlords will have taken out two-year deals and be coming up to remortgage only to find that lenders have tightened their criteria, with more restrictive rent to borrowing rates.

And new rules introduced at the end of September 2017 – requiring lenders to apply more detailed underwriting principles when evaluating portfolio business from landlords with four or more mortgaged properties – mean there are now fewer lenders to choose from.

It is no surprise that buy-to-let remortgaging rose by 20.5 per cent in February to 14,100, according to UK Finance, while new purchases of buy-to-let properties fell by 8.8 per cent year-on-year. As far as many potential new landlords are concerned, the gloss has come off the sector. Changes to mortgage interest tax relief are starting to filter through, making it harder to get the numbers to add up. If you add in a raft of other new legal responsibilities, and the threat of an interest rate rise as early as next month, making sure your portfolio works as hard as it possibly can, is crucial.

Refinancing is worth a look, making sure you are not paying more than you need to. While there is less choice available for portfolio landlords, we can help you find the most competitive terms – from specialist lenders if required – and make the whole process easier.

Jonathan Harris
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Jonathan Harris

The rise of the green mortgage


Barclays has launched a Green Home Mortgage, offering lower rates of interest for borrowers purchasing an energy efficient new-build home. Customers will get 10 basis points off Barclays’ standard mortgage range.

This comes off the back of the Government’s Green Finance Taskforce recommending that lenders should work towards promoting awareness and mainstreaming a consideration of green factors into their mortgage lending decisions.

With such a large lender offering a discount to encourage borrowers to choose an energy efficient house, this is a real boost for environmental campaigners. However, there are some limitations – it is only available on new-build properties as they have to be A or B EPC Energy Efficiency Rated – and initially only a handful of house builders will partner with Barclays on the scheme. On it’s own, it is certainly not a reason to choose a new-build home over an older property but if you are buying one anyway and the 10bp difference makes Barclays the cheapest lender available to you, then  borrowers may be tempted to opt for it.

If a lender as mainstream as Barclays is jumping on the green bandwagon, it will only be a matter of time before other lenders follow suit, which will focus buyers’ minds on a property’s Energy Efficiency Rating like nothing else.

Adrian Anderson
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Adrian Anderson