Mortgage providers withdraw riskier loans | moneyfacts.co.uk

Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 25/03/2020

First-time buyers and home owners with little equity in their property may start to find it harder to get a competitive deal, as despite the recent cuts in base rates, several lenders have started withdrawing high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage products.

Our research has found that since the 19 March 2020, three mortgage lenders have pulled their entire mortgage ranges on an 80% LTV or above, with two specifically withdrawing all 95% LTV products and one 90% LTV deal. On the 20 March, Kensington pulled all its 95% LTV fixed rate mortgage deals. On the same day, Progressive Building Society withdrew its 95% LTV discounted variable rate mortgage and its professional mortgage rates products, while just a day earlier on the 19 March, Foundation Home Loan withdrew all its mortgage products on an 80% LTV and above.

This contrasts to the earlier in the month when only one provider, Skipton Building Society, withdrew just one product – its fixed rate to 30.4.25 at 2.15% on a 90% LTV.

Why are lenders withdrawing higher LTV products?

It is clear that since the two base rate cuts in consecutive weeks, along with the financial turmoil caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, some smaller mortgage lenders have become more risk-averse with their lending. This means that, despite the cut in base rate cuts making it cheaper to borrow money now, the current economic crisis means mortgage lenders might not be keen to take on the risk of lending to someone who is not considered financially secure.

While in the current crisis, and with the lockdown imposed by the Prime Minister on Monday, buying a home is not going to be a priority for first-time buyers, if more mortgage lenders continue to withdraw their products on high LTVs, it could weaken competition within the sector and result in higher rates on these products. As Eleanor Williams, financial expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, explained: “The recent withdrawal of some higher LTV mortgage products is hopefully just a temporary measure, while mortgage providers take some time to reassess risk in this area of the market and react. During the past year, higher LTV mortgages often favoured by first-time buyers have seen average rates fall and product availability increase, however, if the market experiences a large number of withdrawals of products geared towards first-time buyers, this will likely impact competition among providers and lower rates in this sector of the market may start to disappear.”

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Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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