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Welcome to Property Hawk Mortgages

Property Hawk Mortgages are specialists in the buy-to-let and commercial mortgage market. Our team has a wealth of knowledge and are dedicated to helping UK landlords and businesses find the best financial products and services available to them.

Why use us?

All our products and services are available online, with the added benefit that you can speak to a specialist at any time should you require help or assistance.

With over 30 years' experience in the buy to let and commercial mortgage markets, we offer:

  • Best in market products researched daily
  • Mortgage schemes that fit your expected rental income
  • Free helpdesk for information and support

Media centre

What a year in buy-to-let, what a chance for change - Jan 05, 2021

What a year and such a challenge in 2020; it’s hard to put into words exactly what the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been on our lives over the last 12 months. It has certainly brought a lot of change to our working lives and perhaps forced businesses to reassess some of the assumptions about best practices or develop new strategies for continuing to work effectively in a different set of circumstances.

From the perspective of a specialist in the buy-to-let mortgage market, the last year has highlighted the benefits to be gained by focusing on our technical capabilities and how improvements to our online processes can provide a more efficient service to customers. It also made us rethink our approach to team-working within the business.

To start with, everyone at Buy-to-let Direct was immediately asked to work from home at the beginning of the first lockdown in March. This was arranged remarkably quickly and without fuss, especially considering we have always been an office-based business. It meant that we all became remote workers and online conferencing took on a life of its own, with Microsoft Teams becoming our channel of choice.

Although this has required staff to adapt, it has also taught us new ways of communicating and allowed a more flexible approach to working, especially for those who have young children at home needing supervision during these unusual times.

Throughout the buy-to-let mortgage sector, we have seen an increase in the use of digital communications to maintain relationships between lenders, brokers and clients, which has highlighted the need for service providers to keep improving their online capabilities to meet the changing demands of customers.

In general, the demand for buy-to-let finance has remained high throughout the pandemic and once the housing market reopened after the initial shutdown, there has been a surge in buy-to-let mortgage business spurred on by the stamp duty holiday. Buy-to-let continues to be a viable investment opportunity, especially in a financial environment offering such low interest rates on savings.

During 2020, the continuing interest in limited company buy-to-let was apparent with a significant proportion of applications at Buy-to-let Direct being via a corporate entity. This is unsurprising given the buy-to-let mortgage interest tax relief was finally phased out in April 2020, and the high demand for limited company finance is likely to continue in 2021.

Coronavirus also brought an unexpected boon for the holiday let sector as more people opted for UK staycations and the demand soared for properties in popular resorts and other desirable locations. This has led to a wider range of products for investors to choose from as lenders have developed their propositions to service this niche sector.

It looks as though the uncertainty brought by Covid-19 in 2020 is likely to continue during the early part of 2021 and those working in the mortgage industry will have to remain flexible and open to change as we wait for situation to play out. However, there will be plenty of proactive ways to face the unknown challenges ahead and sometimes unexpected change can bring unexpected opportunities.

At Buy-to-let Direct, our main priority is maintaining good communications with our finance providers and landlord clients; harnessing technology to deliver a better service. We have also developed greater understanding of the challenges facing landlords, becoming better at empathising and looking for creative solutions to individual needs.

No doubt 2021 will be another interesting year in the buy-to-let sector and one that provides us with the opportunity to effect change – for the better.

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Stamp duty cliff edge for buy-to-let - Dec 15, 2020

The stamp duty holiday announced in July for properties up to£500,000 in England provided a welcome boost to the housing market allowing it to make a recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The cost saving incentive has certainly had an impact and resulted in increased activity in the purchase market, including buy-to-let properties.

However, the surge in mortgage applications is not without its problems, with some lenders being overwhelmed with new business and delays occurring with conveyancing work as solicitors try to deal with the increased demand on their services.

The deadline of 31st March 2021 when the stamp duty holiday is due to end means that time is running out for anyone looking to take advantage of it. Recent research by Legal and General Mortgage Club found that the average time for a property purchase, from finding a property to completion is taking at least 14 weeks as processing times have doubled due to the high demand.

At Buy-to-let Direct, we only deal with buy-to-let mortgage applications, but we have heard warnings from the home moving industry that some purchase transactions are taking up to 5 months to complete, which means that the window of opportunity of getting a mortgage for property purchases that avoid paying stamp duty may well be closed.

There has been concern throughout the industry that having a hard deadline for property purchases to complete may cause some transactions to fail at the last hurdle, especially as the current Help to Buy scheme is also due to end on 31st March.

For example, prospective first-time buyers may not have enough savings to cover the 3 per cent stamp duty charge if it was suddenly payable when they are due to exchange contracts on their new home. This could then cause a breakdown in the property chain, causing unintended but drastic knock-on effects in the housing market.

There have been calls by the home moving industry for the stamp duty holiday to be extended by another 6 months and to have a tapered ending to avoid creating a cliff edge scenario for buyers. This would then release the pressure on all parties involved in property purchase transactions and encourage the housing market to continue its recovery beyond the 31stMarch deadline.

Whatever happens with the stamp duty deadline, it is important for mortgage lenders and brokers to be supportive of each other during this period of increased demand for finance. It may seem sensible to submit cases to lenders as quickly as possible, but it is just as important to make sure that they are fully packaged, with all the required documentation, in order to ensure the application can be processed without unnecessary delays. Equally it is vital that lenders are transparent about their current turnaround times so that brokers and their clients have realistic expectations for offer and completion dates.

After all, we’re all in this together.

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