FHL issues buy-to-let warning

Foundation Home Loans has cautioned against brokers taking out pay rate buy-to-let products on fixed or lifetime tracker mortgages.

With pay rate loans landlords can commonly borrow more, however with the Prudential Regulation Authority introducing a minimum stress test of 5.5% FHL’s commercial director Simon Bayley suggested they might have trouble refinancing down the line.

He said: “If the PRA confirms its willingness to adopt the proposals made in March, advisers will need to ensure that they have discussed the implications of pay rate mortgages with their clients.

“Making sure they are fully aware of how pay rate mortgages might be attractive at outset because of the uplift they provide, but how they could leave the landlord stranded further down the line, will be vital in terms of offering the right advice.

“Further consideration should also be given to an eventual increase in interest rates and the effect that might have on the yields of those landlords unable to refinance and stuck on a lender’s SVR with nowhere to go.”

He added: “Lifetime trackers or shorter term fixed products on a pay rate basis can be proposed to maximise the loan amount or to fit on affordability.

“However, when landlords come to refinancing they will have to fulfil the PRA criteria of a minimum stress rate of 5.5% not taking into account any future interest rate increases, which could leave them as “mortgage prisoners” and unable to refinance away from their current lender.”

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