Andrew Turner: Buy-to-let mortgage rate rises expected

Michael Lloyd

November 12, 2018

Buy-to-let mortgage rates are expected to rise so landlords should take advantage of the current low rate deals while they are still available, Andrew Turner, chief executive, at specialist buy-to let broker Commercial Trust, has argued.

He said at the moment there are some historically low rates for both tracker and fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage products.

Turner said: “This has been the case for some time and is reflective of a hugely competitive market place, where lenders are trying to outdo one another with enticing mortgage deals, encompassing low rates, low fees, or incentives such as cash-back or free valuations.

“With over 2,000 products in the buy-to-let marketplace it is clear that there is a myriad of choice for investors. This volume of choice brings with it complexity, where the lowest rate does not necessarily equate to the cheapest overall deal.”

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has implemented two base rate rises in the last 12 months, yet the added cost to lenders has not shown itself in any significant way in the deals they are offering.

Turner added: “In my view this will have to change. The bumpy road of Brexit may see the base rate brought down slightly, once things settle, but I think it is unlikely and in any event, there is not too much scope for reduction.

“My view is that the overall picture for the next decade is a gradual upward trend in rates.”

UK Finance buy-to-let data shows strength in remortgaging, whilst the changes in buy-to-let have tempered purchases somewhat.

In November, its statistics indicated that buy-to let remortgaging activity in 2018 would exceed its forecasts by approximately £3bn, while a similar figure would represent a shortfall in its forecasts for buy-to-let purchase business in the year.

Turner said: “It can be no coincidence that there has been a surge in landlord activity around buy-to -let remortgages, with such uncertainty affecting their businesses.

“For this reason, if you are concerned that rates are set to trend upwards, fixing now at a competitive low rate and for a period suited to you, could bring you a great deal of security through turbulent times.”

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