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Archive for April, 2013

Newlife Rekindle Their Unique Buy-to-Let Equity Release Plan

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

With a timely return to a buoyant buy-to-let mortgage market, newlife (formerly New Life Mortgages) have re-launched their unique ‘Landlord Loan’.

 

Originally released in 2006, the newlife Landlord equity release scheme was withdrawn a number of years ago, coinciding with a general drop in equity release applications & funding.

 

The newlife landlord lifetime mortgage is another welcome addition to the developing equity release sector, which is seeing a resurgence in lending with similar innovative products & lowest ever interest rates.

 

What is the landlord loan?

Effectively, the newlife Landlord Loan is a buy-to-let equity release mortgage. It is designed specifically for the over 55 age group, who are using rental property for investment purposes in order to help boost their retirement income.

 

Being able to release equity from their portfolios, the landlord loan could help finance more buy-to-let projects and also help with capital gains tax mitigation.

 

How does the landlord equity release scheme work?

Based on the principle of the roll-up lifetime mortgage, the buy-to-let equity release scheme helps landlords with rental properties withdraw equity tied up in their portfolios.

 

Normally strict rules apply to equity release schemes as the property concerned must be the main residence. However, newlife have bucked this trend & designed this landlord equity release plan around the rental market and have coincided this release with a 2nd home or holiday home equity release plan.

 

In essence, any UK landlord over the age of 55 with a qualifying buy-to-let property can release a percentage of the property value with NO monthly repayments necessary. There must be no mortgage present on the property; otherwise the existing mortgage will need to be repaid from the proceeds of the landlord loan.

 

The equity release landlord loan attracts a rate of interest at 6.55% (7.1% APR) and is fixed for the lifetime of the mortgage. The interest rolls-up on a monthly basis and is eventually repaid upon death or the last person.

 

The landlord scheme carries all the principles laid down by the Equity Release Council including a no negative equity guarantee, thus protecting the beneficiaries from ever owing more than the property value itself.

 

Qualifying criteria

Applicants must be 55 attained and have a buy-to-let property valuation of at least £150,000. The property must be in England & Wales and let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy basis. A portfolio of upto 5 properties can be included, with a minimum loan of £25,000 and the maximum being £250,000.

 

How much can I borrow on the landlord loan?

The size of the release is determined by age & property value, therefore income verification is not required. Nevertheless, newlife will require the rental income to at least cover the interest charged in the first month of the term.

 

An example release could be illustrated by considering a male aged 65, with a rental property value of £200,000. The newlife landlord loan would release upto 23% of the property value – a maximum release of £46,000.

The range of LTV’s stretches from 13% at age 55, upto a maximum 42% once age 85 is attained.

 

Benefits for buy-to-let property owners

  • the release of equity is free of tax & can be spent in whatever way you choose
  • landlord equity release helps cash flow in retirement as you continue to receive rental income, but without having to make any monthly repayments
  • Open-ended mortgage with no fixed repayment date
  • Opportunity to restructure your property portfolio to provide additional retirement income
  • The lump sum could be used to settle any outstanding interest only mortgages still running due to failed endowment policies
  • Can be utilised as part of a divorce settlement where the matrimonial home is to be retained by one party
  • Help the funding of long term care by converting the main residence into a buy-to-let which can then provide a tax free lump sum and additional income to pay care costs
  • The opportunity presents itself now to delay the sale of a BTL property, when property prices may still have growth potential in the future
  • The tax free lump sum could be used to purchase an annuity or enhanced annuity which has its own tax advantages and provides additional income in retirement.
  • A fixed interest rate of 6.55% which means the future balance of the buy-to-let lifetime mortgage scheme will be known from the outset
  • Tax advantages arise whereby the property sale can now be postponed if a landlord loan is taken instead. This can then defer, or even avoid potential capital gains tax in the future
  • The landlord equity release plan is portable & can therefore be transferred to a new qualifying  property
  • Further advances can be considered after 3 years, with a minimum top-up of £10,000.

 

If you are a 55+ landlord and looking to release equity from you buy-to-let portfolio, then call Equity Release Supermarket today on 0800 678 5159.

 

*To obtain a quote you can visit our newlife landlord page by clicking here.

 

Are Self Cert Mortgages Available in Retirement?

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Self-certification mortgages are mortgages that are available without a formal income check. Self cert mortgages can be a good option for self-employed or independent professionals who would otherwise have a hard time finding a mortgage lender. Self-certification mortgages are also now available within the retirement sector, in conjunction with the right equity release advice.

 

In fact, lifetime mortgages and pensioner mortgages where the repayment vehicle is the sale of the property are all essentially self-certification mortgages as they do not depend on the income of the applicant. The lending criteria for these pensioner mortgages are mainly the age of the applicant and the property valuation.

 

For instance, Stonehaven’s Interest Select Plan is an interest only lifetime mortgage. Clients can borrow a tax free lump sum against the value of their property. Interest can be repaid in full every month, and the principle amount of the loan is repaid when the property is sold. In fact, Stonehaven equity release will allow you to set up a partial repayment facility, if the full amount of interest is out of your budget range. Therefore, rather than all the interest being repaid, a contribution towards this amount is paid.

 

Therefore, rather than the balance remaining level for the duration of the lifetime interest only mortgage, there will be an element of roll-up interest, albeit significantly lower than if no repayments were made at all. This scenario is ideal for candidates who are risk averse and wish to control the future balance of these pensioner mortgages for their children’s inheritance.

 

Being a lifetime mortgage, there is no fixed term and the loan will continue indefinitely, which will be until sale of the property, which is usually on death or moving into long term care.

 

Self Cert 2013 Lending Criteria

The lending criteria for this loan are based on the age of the youngest applicant and the value of the property. Plans start at age 55 with a minimum property valuation to qualify of £70,000. The property can now be situated in England, Wales & mainland Scotland.

 

As long as applicants can make the minimum monthly repayment of £25, there is no question of requesting income. Stonehaven’s Interest Select plan can therefore be safely categorised as a self cert mortgage. Once the mortgage is set up however, the premiums cannot be amended, other than to stop interest payments completely and convert to a roll-up lifetime mortgage plan. This feature can be used as a safety net in case the mortgage becomes unaffordable in the future & effectively prevents a situation whereby normally repossession would ensue. Repossession for none payment of premiums cannot therefore occur with the Stonehaven Interest Select Plan.

 

Another feature that appeals in today’s economic climate is that of adverse credit or poor credit rating. These lifetime interest only mortgages have leniency towards this. They will permit arrears and defaults. Additionally, they will accept CCJ’s (County Court Judgements) upto a certain level as long as they are repaid from the proceeds and were for understandable reasons.

 

Like most equity release schemes, Stonehaven base the lending on a loan-to-value principle. Stonehaven have four tiers of loan-to-values and each comes with its own interest rate. In essence the more you borrow against the value of your house the higher the interest rate becomes. Conversely, the older you are the greater the amount that can be borrowed, hence it is important you receive independent equity release advice to assess which tiered rate of interest applies and is best for you.

 

For instance a male aged 65 with a property value of £250,000 could release the following with Stonehaven: –

 

 Product Name

Maximum Borrowing

Interest Rate

Loan-to-Value

 Interest Select Lite

£52,500

5.99%

21%

 Interest Select

£60,000

6.08%

24%

 Interest Select Plus

£67,500

6.17%

27%

 Interest Select Max

£72,500

6.81%

29%

 

Who else provides self cert lifetime mortgages on an interest only basis?

Other pensioner mortgages are becoming increasingly available such as the more2Life Interest Choice Plan. This is another self-certification mortgages whereby no income checks are made by the lender. The mortgage is only repaid once the property is sold, which is when the client dies or moves into permanent care, or decides to make an early sale for any other reason.

 

Self-certification mortgages are not very common in the regular residential mortgage sector as lenders are reluctant and wary of lending without formal income checks under FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulations. Interest rates are often higher and the loan to value ratio may be lower than traditional mortgages. However, they have been designed with security in mind, something which interest only mortgages of the past haven’t been.

 

Many pensioner mortgages which rely on the property sale for repayment are essentially self-certification mortgages as they don’t carry out income checks for approval. For these mortgages the main relevant criteria are the age of the applicant which helps determine the expected term of the loan and the property valuation which helps determine the loan to value ratio.

 

For a full assessment of eligibility criteria with the range of interest only lifetime mortgages that Equity Release Supermarket have available, please call Freephone 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk.

 

Further information on the range of self cert interest only lifetime mortgages can be found on our Compare Equity Release Deals page.

 
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