Support for buy to let borrowers as banks revise policy criteria

Major high street banks Santander, Barclays and NatWest Bank have all announced changes in policy criteria, with the aim to further support first-time buyers and customers looking to invest in buy to let property.

Santander has cut interest rates on its buy to let and residential mortgages by 15 basis points.

The lender has reduced its previous rate of 2.84% on its buy to let 75% loan to value (LTV) two-year fixed mortgage to 2.69%, with a £1,995 arrangement fee (purchase and remortgage) or to 2.49% with a 1.5% arrangement fee (purchase and remortgage).

It has also canceled its two-year fixed rate products with the arrangement fee of £995.

With regards to its residential offering, the bank has launched a 60% LTV two-year tracker at 1.39% with a £995 arrangement fee (purchase and remortgage).

Santander has also cut the rates on its 75% and 80% LTV two-year trackers by 15 basis points and has withdrawn its 70% LTV two-year trackers.

Paul Adams, head of intermediary distribution, Santander, said:

“Buy-to-let continues to be a core business priority for us. We want to grow our business and support customers looking to invest in property make that ambition a reality.

“We hope these competitive new, reduced buy-to-let rates combined with our efficient service and quick time to offer will help customers keen to invest in property take that step.”

Barclays Bank is also reviewing its buy to let offering and following an increased demand for buy to let mortgages from customers over 50, the bank has increased the age cap on its buy to let range from 75 to 80.

In a note to brokers the lender said:

“We have recognised a growing appetite for people over 50 years of age to invest in property and landlords wanting to hold onto properties longer into retirement, therefore increasing the age cap will provide greater flexibility for our customers.”

NatWest Bank, meanwhile, has revised its mortgage criteria for first-time buyers and will now accept gifted cash deposits from parents, guardians and third parties (not sellers or vendors).

The bank stipulates that the gift deposits must be provided on the basis that no repayment is required.

The bank said in a note to brokers that it

“can accept funds from parents or guardians where the money is advanced against a formal loan agreement or where a second charge is put in place to secure the family member’s rights”.

This would be subject to an underwriter’s discretion.

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