Landlords are being encouraged to take advantage of existing low mortgage rates ahead of any potential base rate increases next year.
There are currently some historically low rates available for both tracker and fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage products, reflecting the 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.
It is therefore no surprise that Andrew Turner, chief executive at specialist buy-to-let broker Commercial Trust Limited, is urging landlords to take advantage of current low rate deals, “whilst they are still available”.
He commented: “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.
“Rates are low now, but this may about to change.”
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has implemented two base rate rises in the last 12 months, and yet Turner points out that “the added cost to lenders has not shown itself in any significant way in the deals they are offering”.
He continued: “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.”
Buy-to-let mortgage activity has dropped sharply when it comes to new acquisitions, but UK Finance’s buy-to-let data shows strength in remortgaging.
In November, their statistics indicated that buy-to-let remortgaging activity in 2018 would exceed its forecasts by approximately £3bn.
Turner added: “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.
“There are thousands of buy to let mortgage deals available. With a clear picture of what you want, a match in product is readily available.”