Buy-to-Let Lenders Favouring Percentage-Based Fees
Percentage-based fees for arranging loans have become the new standard among buy-to-let mortgage lenders, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Mortgage Costs Index from Mortgages for Business.
Flat fees have long been popular as a way for lenders to maintain profitability, while still offering competitive rates. Meanwhile, other products instead carry a variable fee based on the loan amount.
Figures from the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 show that 44% of all buy-to-let mortgage products now carry percentage-based fees, overtaking flat fees (41%) for the first time in four years.
There was also a rise in the average flat fee, up to £1,446 from £1,397 in Q4 2016. Together, these changes have increased the average effect of mortgage charges to 0.64%. This compares to 0.62% in Q4, and is the strongest effect recorded since the first half (H1) of 2015.
Steve Olejnik, the COO of Mortgages for Business, comments: “With the challenges lenders have faced to generate business in the face of successive blows to the buy-to-let sector, it is only natural that many have chosen to focus on cutting rates at the cost of increased fees. The recent trend towards percentage-based fees is an example of lenders doing exactly this, as fees of this type become more expensive for larger loans.”
The index also shows that there has been a shift in the pricing of five-years fixed rate products. Although products available at 75% loan-to-value (LTV) and below remained on trend, five-year fixed at higher LTVs saw a 0.2% rise in headline rates.
This was fuelled by an influx of investor demand following tighter Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) affordability guidelines, which only partially apply to long-term fixed rates.
Landlords, have you seen a move towards percentage-based fees from buy-to-let lenders in recent months? Will this affect your decision to take out a loan?