In December 2006 the lender launched rates of 4.49%, a move which industry pundits interpreted at the time as a sign that CHL was looking to up the ante in the buy-to-let market in 2007.
Along with Mortgage Express, it now has a buy-to-let lending limit of 5m. This ceiling applies to advances up to 85% LTV, with a 3m maximum on 90% LTV.
Affordability is assessed on rental income only, with no income checks needed for employed customers and no accounts required from the self-employed.
Trevor Child, head of sales and marketing at CHL, says: “We have put a lot of research into these changes and know that they are the sorts of features that professional landlords want to see from a buy-to-let lender. Because of this we are expecting to attract plenty of interest with this change.
“The bottom line is that landlords will find it a lot easier to increase the size of their portfolios to 5m.”
Andy Young, managing director of The Business Mortgage Company, says: “CHL showed signs of an aggressive attitude towards buy-to-let pricing at the end of last year and I predicted then that this would continue into 2007.
“But low rates aren’t the only consideration when lenders are designing competitive products, and changes to criteria are another way to get noticed.”
David Thomas, partner at Chadney Bulgin, adds: “These products are a good thing for buy-to-let. Some lenders have been too cautious but I think they will now increase their offers and free up the market, as there is capacity for more business in buy-to-let.”
GHL Group has added The Derbyshire’s specialist lending brand Salt to its network lender panel.
John Smith, sales and marketing director of GHL, says: “We chose to appoint Salt to our panel because of its innovative products and flexible lending criteria.
“As a branded lender we have direct access to its underwriter who will be situated on-site and have a significant mandate.”
He adds: “We are excited about the opportunity this appointment provides for us to generate business for our appointed representatives.”
Tony Capon, head of retail sales at Salt, says: “We identified GHL as a partner that would fit well with our proposition, product and service offering.
“Our appointment to the network lender panel will expand our distribution and further enhance our brand’s growing reputation for being a packager-friendly lender and a significant player in the sub-prime mortgage market.”