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Growing number of landlords choosing two-year fix rate deals

There has been a notable increase in the number of landlords opting for two-year fixed buy-to-let deals owed in part to political and economic uncertainty, according to Commercial Trust.

At the end of last year, 68% of its buy-to-let applications were for five-year fixed rate terms and 26% for two-year fixes.

But the broker reports that the percentage of five-year fixed rate deals secured at the end of Q2 of 2019 dropped to 59%, while two-year fixed rate deals are at 39%.

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Andrew Turner, chief executive of Commercial Trust, said: “Five-year fixed rate buy-to-let deals have proved dominant over several quarters, notably since the introduction of the PRA rules, which tightened lending criteria for shorter-term products in 2017.

“Five-year applications remain predominate, but there has been a definite shift to two-year applications during the first half of 2019.

“There could be a number of factors at play here, with the obvious explanation being that the first half of 2019 has seen political and economic uncertainty, largely as a result of Brexit negotiations.

“The Bank of England has at different times hinted at rates rises, should the economy grow in line with their forecasts, but then suggested that a no-deal Brexit could see the base rate cut.

“Many landlords are perhaps looking to hedge their bets for the short-term, with a competitive, low rate buy-to-let mortgage, which will hopefully last beyond all of the uncertainty, without locking them into a long-term agreement.”

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