Precise launches into prime mortgage sector

Precise Mortgages is set to enter the prime residential market for the first time with a range of products with rates close to that of some of the large high-street lenders, Mortgage Strategy understands.

It is thought the lender is close to securing funding for the new range, which could launch as early as this week, and will contain both remortgage and home purchase products.

Mortgage Strategy understands the range could be limited to the South East when it launches, although it is possible the lender could widen its distribution to cover other parts of the country in the future.

The lender currently offers near-prime trackers from 4.61 per cent and fixed rates from 5.19 per cent, with loan-to-values ranging from 70 per cent to 85 per cent.

Precise, which launched in November 2010, has only offered buy-to-let and near-prime products to date, meaning the launch is its first foray into the prime sector. The lender launched into the bridging sector in May 2011, before launching a range of regulated short-term products in January this year.

Precise Mortgages refused to comment.

London & Country associate director of communications David Hollingworth say: “It is really positive to see one of the smaller non-bank lender wanting to make a serious play at competing with the bigger lenders. The challenge will be how Precise keeps its underwriting criteria as bespoke as it is currently if it is going to compete with the bigger players on price.”

Chadney Bulgin mortgages partner Jonathan Clark says: “While it would be good to see Precise get a little closer to the cheaper end of the market, I think brokers will be more concerned about whether it keeps underwriting applications on a case-by-case basis. If it can do that then brokers will be very happy and it will help people who are unable to be placed elsewhere. That is what the prime market needs.”