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Equity release could help landlords facing tough new lending rules

Thursday 12 October 2017

Landlords with more than four or more properties who are now hit by tough new lending criteria could turn to equity release to ease the pain.

A range of equity release products for owners of buy-to-let properties that allow landlords to release cash from their portfolio tax-free, while leaving their entire portfolio intact, has been unveiled by Retirement Advantage.

Stricter affordability rules introduced by the Prudential Regulation Authority from September 30, have added pressure on buy-to-let investors who want to refinance.

These landlords must now have the outstanding mortgages across their entire portfolio assessed, sparking fears that they will struggle to secure the most competitive deals.

Alice Watson, head of marketing at Retirement Advantage, said: “As with other property owners, buy-to-let landlords want flexibility when it comes to financing options. Equity release is now a viable route.

“By launching products specifically for buy-to-let landlords this summer, it gives these individuals greater opportunity to use their property wealth to support their retirement.”

Retirement Advantage’s Landlord Lifestyle product has a monthly interest rate of 6.26 per cent and an annual rate of 6.44 per cent, with the interest rolling up and being added to the mortgage each month.

Its Landlord Interest Select option has a monthly rate of 6.07 per cent and an annual rate of 6.24 per cent, and enables borrowers to pay off some, or all, of the interest charged each month.

Meanwhile, the Landlord Voluntary Select option has a monthly rate of 6.45 per cent, an annual rate of 6.64 per cent, and allows capital repayments of up to 10 per cent of the initial loan amount each year.

Tracey Lucas, equity release adviser at Suffolk-based Needham Mortgage Centre described the new lifetime mortgage for buy-to-let landlords as a 'very exciting and welcome innovation.'

“As with classic lifetime mortgages, the lack of affordability check is very useful," she added.

"I foresee lots of opportunities and although the loan-to-value is of course lower than for a standard mortgage for the client with a sizeable lump sum available to invest in an investment property this is an ideal option.”

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