Many lenders are holding the equivalent of ‘mortgage January sales’ in order to kick-start the market for borrowers, according to a leading industry expert.
Mark Harris, chief executive of broker SPF Private Clients, says Virgin Money, Nationwide, HSBC and Skipton have all reduced rates in recent days.
“While several lenders hiked their mortgage rates before Christmas, leading to fears that the cheapest deals are behind us, this was more to do with slowing down business over the festive period. The good news for borrowers is that lenders are likely to price aggressively in coming weeks in order to get off to a fast start” he says.
“With the housing market expected to be buzzing as landlords opt to expand their portfolios now rather than waiting until the stamp duty hike in April, buy to let lenders are also likely to be extremely busy” Harris suggests.
North London agent and former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf says he has seen a noticeable increase in landlord buyers.
“Because of the tight timeframe, there is more risk in buying a property in a chain because of the chance of fall-through of the sale, leaving even less time to complete a transaction. Landlords may opt for new-build instead where there is no such risk and they have certainty of sale” he says.
But Leaf warns: “Inevitably, we have seen examples of vendors taking advantage of landlords’ desperation to complete before the April deadline, with some being greedy on the price.”