Private Finance's Weekly Mortgage Memo - 11th January 2021
This is our take on recent news in the mortgage market. Our views are often cited in several national publications, including; BBC News, The Times, Telegraph, City AM, FT Adviser and Daily Mail, as well as a number of key trade publications, so this should keep you ahead of the curve. If you have any questions on any of these stories, or would like further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
At a glance:
- Mortgage market continuing to open-up despite the pandemic and new lockdown
- Max 60% LTV for self-employed borrowers from major high street lender
- Over 500,000 people in rent arrears – more bad news for landlords
Mortgage market continuing to open-up despite the pandemic and new lockdown
Despite the new National lockdown and surge in cases and deaths in recent days confidence in the property market is continuing to grow, illustrated by further lenders returning to 90% LTV this last week, including HSBC and Coventry Building Society. This comes despite numerous commentators suggesting a fall in prices is coming this year…
- We have seen the large number enquiries continuing of late despite the current situation and it seems that this lockdown and now talk of restrictions remaining in place for the long term has further entrenched buyers desire to move to have more space both for work and outdoors.
- With prices having risen so much in the last 9 months lenders have some more wiggle room if prices are to fall, unless they fall in a significant way and moreover, borrowing at this LTV remains relatively expensive and is more a akin to a 95% LTV pre-pandemic.
Max 60% LTV for self-employed borrowers from major high street lender
The self-employed have had a tough time when it comes to getting mortgages since the advent of the Covid pandemic. Self-employed borrowers are seen as higher risk for lenders and with the higher levels of scrutiny required for the applications it is taking lenders far longer to process cases, however no lender has gone as low as 60% for a maximum LTV until Santander now - there is good reason though...
- This highlights just how incredibly long it is taking to underwrite self-employed mortgages – 40 working day average from application to offer for Santander, which has got to be close to the worst in the industry and thus likely to be delaying normal business too. This therefore is not so much a question of self-employed borrowers risk profile increasing, but more of means for Santander to manage their timeframes for processing.
Over 500,000 people in rent arrears – more bad news for landlords
According to recent research by Citizens Advice, circa half a million private renters are behind on their rent – this is 11% of all private renters. Moreover, the government have once again quite rightly extended the ban on evictions and thus this could mean some landlords may have seen a rental void approaching a year now…
- Private tenants have not had any structured way to defer payments in the way that homeowners with mortgages have and thus they have been placed under even greater fiscal pressure given the circumstances.
- It is a very difficult situation as you do not want to see people being evicted and made homeless, but for landlords this could put them in a very precarious financial position and thus we could see more landlords exit the market in the coming months and this could be accelerated if prices start falling…
- Many people perceive landlords as very wealthy and can afford to take the losses, but many rely on rental income as their income like a pension. Mortgage holidays taken will have often finished now and merely push a problem down the road as the debt still has to be paid.