Market Watch: Now it’s all about Brexit – and things are going to get messy


In the Budget there was a lot about ‘We are the builders’ but little, if any, detail around what that actually means. But now it’s all about Brexit

Ich bin ein European.

For all you brokers battling through issues around the term ‘independence’, already struggling to explain what the hell an APRC is or when a buy-to-let is not a buy-to-let but a different type of buy-to-let – welcome to the Mortgage Credit Directive. But spare a thought as well for lenders, which are shouldering most of the cost of this rather pointless exercise in how to confuse consumers even more.

Hopefully, we will not actually see much disruption and it will be business as usual. After all, as an industry we are getting pretty good at adapting and moving forward.

The other big news, of course, was the Budget. The usual repertoire was there: lots of “long-term solutions” and bashing of the previous government, as well as a couple of decent gags.

As for content? Well, no reprieve for landlords at all. In fact, a refusal even to help those buying more than 15 properties. Whether you buy in a personal or company name makes no difference. The only concession was around the length of time in which to claim back the additional duty, rising to 36 months from a proposed 18, which is sensible.

There was a lot about “We are the builders” but little, if any, detail around what that actually means.

The most interesting bit was the Lifetime Isa, which can be used for retirement saving or towards a deposit for a first home.

Much is covered elsewhere on the topic but does this spell the end of pensions for those aged under 40?

The Money Advice Service was also, finally, put out of its misery, which was probably for the best.

So now it is all about Brexit – and things are going to get messy.

In the markets this week, three-month Libor is no fun any more at 0.59 per cent, while swap rates, like the Budget, have proved to be uninspiring.

2-year money is up 0.02% at 0.83%
3-year money is up 0.01% at 0.90%
5-year money is up 0.06% at 1.05%
10-year money is down 0.05% at 1.46%


In the product world, Scottish Widows has launched new large-loan products on sourcing over £1m. Two-year fixes start at 2.29 per cent and three-year fixes from 2.44 per cent with a £1,999 fee.

Santander will now lend up to 95 per cent on flats, which is great news but it is a shame this is only up to £350,000.

There is a lot happening around buy-to-let at the moment, with Barclays launching rates starting from 1.93 per cent for a two-year tracker and a range with 1 per cent arrangement fees, which has a two-year fix at 75 per cent loan-to-value at 2.29 per cent and a five-year version at 3.39 per cent.

Virgin Money also has some new buy-to-let offerings, with a two-year fix at 50 per cent LTV starting from just 1.95 per cent with a £1,995 fee, and a five-year fix from 2.89 per cent. Residential five-year offerings up to 65 per cent LTV start at 2.24 per cent.

Accord is bringing back its 10-day sales, this time for buy-to-let remortgages. Its two-year fix is at 2.79 per cent and its five-year fix at 3.44 per cent with free valuation and free legals, or a £300 cashback.

Meanwhile, Kent Reliance will now allow borrowers to transfer their property from their individual name to a limited company name and will accept a director’s loan or gifted equity.

And, finally, a plea. Things can be stressful in our game but I have heard some tales of abuse aimed at business development managers in the past few weeks.

It is not their fault; they are only trying to help. If they are not doing what they should be doing, raise it with their manager.

And if you really want to scream and swear at someone, have the guts to phone up the head honcho and do it to them.

Or you could take it out on me. I’m used to it.


Andrew Montlake is director at Coreco