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Thursday, March 09, 2017

BTL second charges, bridging finance and semi-commercial loans

Jane Simpson at Property Hawk Mortgages says:

Buy-to-let second charges and bridging finance – alternative solutions for landlords

Second charge buy-to-let mortgages or short term finance such as bridging can resolve issues faced by landlord clients who are looking to raise capital. For example, those tied in with their existing mortgage provider or those on a very low reversionary rate with no incentive to remortgage away from their current product.

There are numerous reasons for landlords to raise capital and the purchase of a further buy-to-let property is a common one. However, the recent PRA regulations and subsequent changes to rental calculations has meant that some landlords are looking for ways of generating additional deposits to meet the tougher rental requirements. Second charge buy-to-let mortgages provide an option for doing this and there are now more providers in the market.

At Property Hawk Mortgages, we are also receiving a growing number of enquiries about bridging finance solutions and now offer a range of both second charge and bridging products with Together Mortgages, Shawbrook Bank, and Precise.

Bridging is certainly growing in popularity among landlords and its reputation for being punitively expensive seems to be diminishing. If used intelligently, bridging can be an excellent resource for buy-to-let investors and enable them to make the most of opportunities and bargains in the rental property market.

For example, bridging is an excellent short term solution for landlords buying property at auction. Auction properties can often be obtained at a reduced price and allow investors to avoid paying higher stamp duty. Bridging can also provide an alternative for landlords purchasing cheaper properties that need some refurbishment before they are let out. There are numerous light refurbishment products available through core lenders, but a bridging specialist can often provide the resource to carry out more extensive renovations.


For landlords who are deterred by the 2016 buy-to-let stamp duty increase, semi-commercial properties can provide an investment opportunity that avoids the higher levy. For example, a single freehold that includes a commercial property, such as a shop with living accommodation above it, is not subject to the 3 per cent levy increase imposed in 2016, because it is not considered to be a buy-to-let property. A savvy investor could buy the single freehold property and then create separate leases for the commercial element and the residential element. The flat above the shop could then be considered for a buy-to-let mortgage.
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