Two and three-bed buy-to-let properties will become more difficult to buy under lenders’ plans to apply far tougher checks on landlords, new analysis suggests.
Landlords with traditional 25pc deposits will be unable to buy property in 91pc of areas if all lenders go ahead with plans to increase the amount of rent which is required to cover their mortgage payments.
The analysis also suggests that more than half of landlords who bought three years ago with a 25pc deposit will be unable to remortgage under the new tougher conditions – forcing them to sell, pay down the debt or increase rents.
Lenders including Barclays and Nationwide have already tightened requirements for buy-to-let borrowers, motivated by the Bank of England’s consultation in March, which made income checks more stringent.
From next April, a tax change will begin to be phased in, which will eventually mean that landlords will no longer be able to deduct their mortgage interest costs from their rental income before calculating their tax bill.
Instead all landlords will be able to claim a basic-rate allowance – meaning that higher and additional-rate taxpaying landlords will essentially pay tax on their turnover, not their profit, which will send many into loss-making territory.
In response to these changes, many of the largest buy-to-let lenders have increased the amount of income that landlords need to take from rent, from 125pc of their mortgage payments to 145pc.
According to research from analysts Hometrack, many lenders are looking at increasing this still further, to 155pc. Lenders now also require borrowers to show they could afford the mortgage payments if they increased to a “stress rate” of 5.5pc.
The analysis found that with these requirements, buying a two-bedroom rental property with a 25pc deposit would be possible in just 9pc of local authorities.
In 65pc of local authorities, buyers would need to increase their deposit size by more than 10pc to be able to buy.
The data suggests that buy-to-let could become increasingly reserved for professional landlords and those with large deposits or who don’t need a mortgage.
A year ago it was common for lenders to require 125pc of mortgage payments in rental income, and a “stress rate” of 4.5pc. Under these conditions, someone could buy with a 25pc deposit in 93pc of local authorities.
The analysis also suggests that larger, multiple-bedroom properties will be more seriously affected. In the worst-case scenario, where lenders require 155pc of mortgage payments in rent and a 5.5pc “stress rate”, 25pc deposits will be viable for just 1.5pc of three-bed houses.
Article by telegraph