HSBC has pulled the plug on its buy-to-let lending, but there are still 42 active lenders in the business, even at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic – according to Mortgages for Business, saying that, at the zenith of the spring’s Boris Bounce, there were 49 lenders in the buy-to-let marketplace.
Saffron Building Society withdrew from the market before the outbreak in March – for non COVID-19 reasons – and has indicated their intention to return to market ‘later in the year’. Lenders that have stopped lending to landlords since include: HSBC; Foundation Home Loans; Together Money; Vida Home Loans; Platform Home Loans; State Bank of India; and Furness Building Society.
Steve Olejnik, Managing Director of Mortgages for Business said, “HSBC is no longer able to accept applications for buy-to-let mortgages. We have seen lenders like Vida Homeloans temporarily pull out of the market – but more than 85 per cent of the lenders that landlords rely on are still trying to do their bit.
“Four of the lenders that initially withdrew products – Santander, Clydesdale, Precise Mortgages, and Kent Reliance – are now lending again. The landlord community is benefiting from Shawbrook and Paragon, in particular, who are using virtual valuations for loans against standard properties up to 75% of loan to value. They’re being very helpful.
“Lenders have cut down the sorts of landlords that they will lend to. They’re pulling product ranges, tighten lending criteria, and increasing margins. But different lenders are de-risking against different kinds of landlord borrowers.
“While some lenders are no longer lending to first time landlords, there are still lenders who are. My advice to landlords looking to remortgage is act sooner, rather than later. You may have to answer a few more questions when you’re applying for a remortgage that you would have had to last month – but a broker will still be able to find you a deal.”