Are high LTV mortgages good or bad?

Friday, 28th June, 2019
high ltv mortgage

In many ways, the mortgage market is similar to the fashion industry.

Just as denim jackets seem to make a comeback every decade or so, high loan to value (LTV) mortgages seem to be widely available once again.

For those of you who may not remember the impact of the financial crash of 2007/8, such as young first time buyer mortgage hunters, then I’ll just say that it was a very challenging time and one that went from lenders offering very high LTV mortgages to lending almost nothing at all.

However, high LTV mortgages are on the rise and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Prudential Regulation Authority, which has raised concerns about lenders’ willingness to increase their risk in order to maintain profit margins.

For example, Moneyfacts recently reported that the average two-year fixed-rate at 95% LTV has fallen from 5.33% to 3.25% over the past five years. Similarly, at 60% LTV, average two-year rates have fallen from 2.96% to 1.90%, making both 90% and 60% LTV mortgages more accessible.

As the debate opens up around ‘risky’ high LTV mortgages, here’s Complete Mortgages’ view.

1. Apples and pears

Lenders often talk of income multiples in order to ascertain a mortgage applicant’s affordability threshold – and the current debate around the acceptability of lending six times income is gathering momentum. However, given how low the Bank of England base rate currently is, then a multiple of six times income based on today’s available mortgage rates requires lower monthly mortgage payments than five times income based on the interest rates prior to last decade’s financial crash.

2. Helping the next generation of homeowners

Getting on the property ladder has become increasingly difficult. Property values have outstripped salaries, the result of which has priced out young people from getting a first time buyer mortgage. High LTV mortgages, which typically only require a 5 – 10% deposit, help first time buyers become homeowners, which is important.

3. Current earnings don’t necessarily reflect future earnings

First time buyers, who are relying on buying a property with only a 5 – 10% deposit, may have to go down the high LTV mortgage route as their earnings may be small in relation to the sum they’re looking to borrow. However, it doesn’t take young professionals long to move up the career ladder and increase their salaries, thus reducing their level of mortgage risk by default.

4. Post-crash regulation

Despite what is being reported in the news, structures imposed by regulatory bodies, such as the Mortgage Market Review, make it very difficult for mortgages to be handed out to those who are unable to afford the repayments.

High LTV mortgages may have increased, but so too have the number of variables and considerations that mortgage applicants are now assessed on. It is, of course, important to note that the Bank of England base rate is very low and could change at any time, however any changes to interest rates are quickly integrated within lenders’ affordability tests.

If you’re about to apply for a mortgage, looking for a professional mortgage adviser in Guildford or think you need to apply for a high LTV mortgage but are concerned by the potential risks, then contact the team at Complete Mortgages, who can assess your affordability levels prior to your mortgage application going to the lender.

We help our clients secure high LTV mortgages, buy to let mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages, equity release mortgages and adverse credit mortgages.  Contact 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk for more information.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


The Help to Buy scheme is over… but it’s not the end for first time buyer mortgages

Thursday, 13th October, 2016
first time buyer

As the saying goes, ‘nothing lasts forever’. Government priorities have a habit of changing (as do Prime Ministers) and with that comes changes in policy.

And it would appear that this is what has happened following the news that the once lauded and very popular Help to Buy Scheme is to come to an end in December. The good news, however, is that it’s only the Mortgage Guarantee element of the scheme that is scheduled to end; its other components including Shared Ownership, Equity Loan and Help to Buy: ISA, remain available.

The Mortgage Guarantee element of the scheme, which has enabled lenders to purchase a guarantee on mortgage loans and, as a result, offer homebuyers – first time buyers in particular – high loan to value (LTV) mortgages of between 80 – 95%, has made homeownership accessible to those with limited access to a deposit. In fact, according to figures*, since the scheme’s launch in January 2014 it has been behind over a staggering 89,000 mortgages.

The question now, however, is whether or not high LTV mortgages are over and, along with it, the chance of homeownership for those who, without the scheme, may have struggled to secure such a highly geared mortgage.

The answer remains unclear and there is much speculation. Many are of the view that as we enter 2017, high LTV mortgage products will diminish. Others believe that even without the government’s support, the first time buyer market is buoyant and can withstand the removal of what many regard as a crutch.

For those who have earmarked the New Year as a time to put their deposit to good use, then here are three things to remember:

1. Lenders need first-time buyers (or those who require a high LTV mortgage which, given how growth in property values has eclipsed growth in wages, is a huge proportion of the population).

2. Whilst the Help to Buy Scheme has undoubtedly been incredibly helpful, the 95% mortgage was already making a post-recession comeback even before the scheme was launched, and therefore it isn’t necessarily the panacea that some have come to believe.

3. 95% mortgages aren’t exclusive to Help to Buy. Put another way, even during the scheme’s lifetime those applying for a mortgage could still access 95% mortgages without going down the Help to Buy route.

As a Guildford mortgage broker that has been getting a 95% mortgage for many of our clients, we feel relatively at ease by the confirmation of the Help to Buy Scheme’s closure. Why? Because as a mortgage broker, with access to a comprehensive panel of mortgage products, we know that there is a plethora of options available that match a huge demographic of people.

For the general public securing a mortgage is often perceived as a binary process; it’s either black or white, yes or no. For a mortgage broker acting on their behalf there are many shades of grey in-between and it’s our job to explore, unpick and navigate them in a way that secures the right mortgage deal for them.

So, whether you’re a first time buyer or someone who was relying on the Help to Buy Scheme to get on the property ladder, don’t rule out homeownership just yet.

Contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out how you can still secure a high loan to value mortgage – and why the end of the Help to Buy Scheme doesn’t spell the end of your homeownership dreams.

*www.financialreporter.co.uk

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages