Tag Archives: gearing

Castle Trust Equity Loan Finance Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

Castle Trust Equity Loan Finance has the potential to be the biggest game changer in the UK mortgage market since Buy to Let came about in 1996.

Not only does the Castle Trust equity loan finance product allow you to borrow more without having to refinance, there are also no monthly payments, EVER!

Instead of paying interest and capital repayments as you would on a normal mortgage or second mortgage, Castle Trust take a share in the capital appreciation of your property when it is sold. If your property doesn’t go up in value by the time you sell it then all you owe Castle Trust is what you borrowed, they make no return. If your property does go up in value when you sell it then Castle Trust take a share in the profits. Castle Trust

As you might imagine, the Castle Trust Equity Loan Finance offer has captured the imagination and creativity of landlords because this mortgage product can enable them to raise money to buy more properties without affecting their cashflow. The art of borrowing is to make your borrowed money work harder than it costs – this mortgage product certainly has potential for landlords to use it that way.

Industry reaction to the Castle trust products

I have already spoken to a few buy to let mortgage lenders about the Castle Trust offer and feelings are mixed. Some don’t like it because they feel it could affect their risk profiles, however, so far these lenders haven’t been able to give me a logical reason as to why they feel this way. On the other hand we have lenders which are considering designing new BTL products at 65% LTV with a view to dovetailing them into the Castle Trust product. They are considering this on the basis of there risk being lower than normal at 65% LTV and overall serviceability of debt also being better due to there being  no monthly interest payable on the top-up 20% of a loan provided by Castle Trust which takes overall gearing up to 85%.

Castle Trust have certainly got people talking and thinking!

Landlords are acting on this too – who knows how long it will be available for? I first wrote about the Castle Trust deal for landlords and our hand picked panel of advisers just a couple of weeks ago. Since then we’ve have an incredible response and referrals to our recommended advisers have already been converted at an incredible 90% plus conversion rate into decisions in principle from Castle Trust. Yes, they are a slick operation to deal with too, it’s possible to get a Decision in Principle within 24 hours of contacting one or our recommended broker panel members.

We have quite a debate going on amongst landlords and professional advisers about the pro’s and cons of the Castle Trust equity loan finance products elsewhere on this website. Therefore, I will not be adding a comments section to this particular post. However, do pop over to the thriving discussion over on this thread and  read what your peers have to say about the product. Feel free to ask questions yourself too 🙂


Tax Treatment of Equity Loans for Buy to Let Landlords Advice, Buy to Let News, Commercial Finance, Financial Advice, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Legal, Mortgage News, Property Investment Strategies, Tax and Accountancy, Tax News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I have been posting on numerous forums about the introduction of equity loans into the UK buy to let mortgage market, a common question is the tax treatment.

Equity loans do not attract interest in the normal way, there are no regular monthly payments. One UK lender, funded by USA equity house JC Flower & Co. (a leading financial services investment company with funds in excess of £5billion) has entered the UK market and others may follow. Their return on investment is earned when the loan term expires or or sale or refinance of the property, whichever is sooner. Their return is capital plus a share in capital appreciation equal to double their investment. For example, if they provide top up finance of 10% of a property value their return with be 20% of the increased capital value plus their investment when the funding is redeemed.

As you may know, I was previously a former commercial finance broker. When I was practising I was renowned for digging into complex funding, tax and legal structures to explore opportunities and threats which others may never have considered.

Note to all – I no longer provide advice and this post must not be treated as advice.

The tax treatment of the redemption of BTL equity loans will be very interesting.

Let’s use this example. Equity loans can sit over and above traditional interest bearing mortgages but for the sake of simplicity I have based the following example on equity funding only.

Property value at outset £100,000
Equity loan at outset £20,000

Property value at sale £200,000
Capital gain £100,000 (or is it and if so how is it shared? – see below)
Equity loan capital repaid £20,000
Profit on Equity loan to lender £40,000

Now does the £40,000 profit on the equity loan to the lender reduce the owners capital gain to £60,000 or is the owners gain still treated as £100,000?

The lender operating the first of these schemes has already stated they will bill their return as interest at the point of loan redemption. However, that’s not to say HMRC will see it that way, only time will tell. Therefore, my suggestion to all landlords considering this type of finance is to plan for the worst and hope for the best in terms of tax treatment. As has been proven many times, the law says you can call something pretty much whatever you like but case law or legislation will determine what it really is. Case in point, advance rent or deposit? – see Johnson vs Old

So will profits made by equity lenders need to be used to offset rental profits? If so there could be a substantial paper loss created in the year of redemption. Unused losses may be rolled forward, assuming losses are made, but such losses are only offsettable against future rental profits. No problem, in fact potentially very advantageous, IF you continue to make rental profits going forward. However, if this was your only property you may be stuffed by having to pay CGT on the full £100,000 of gain and not being able to utilise the carry forward losses. Note that rental losses can not be used to reduce other taxable income.

I can’t see HMRC allowing landlords to choose how they apply the lenders return to suit their individual circumstances, i.e. as either interest or a share of capital gain,  but we can live in hope, not that that’s a good strategy of course! If HMRC do allow a choice to be made that would be utopia from a tax planners perspective 🙂

What I would suggest to all considering equity loans is that they should plan for the worst case tax scenario and hope for the best case tax scenario. In other words, make decisions based on the worst case tax scenario and if that works then fine. Obviously there are many other aspects of the deal to consider too which is why I am an advocate of taking professional advice as opposed to taking a short sighted approach and simply jumping into deals unadvised just to save initial fees.

If you are a portfolio landlord who makes good rental profits then treating the lenders return as interest could be extremely tax advantageous if the tax regime remains as it is today. This is because income tax rates are greater than capital gains tax rates for higher rate tax payers.

Therefore, for landlords who will continue to make rental profits, post redemption of their equity loans, this is particularly attractive in my opinion. At worst, if HMRC decide to treat the lenders returns as capital gains, landlords will pay a lower CGT bill and not be able to offset interest. For a landlords with no ongoing rental profits post redemption of an equity loan, having the lenders return treated an interest charge is highly unlikely to be attractive whereas having the returns treated as capital gains will be far better for them.

If, of course, your equity loan is secured against your private home then no CGT is payable on sale anyway.

Tax Treatment of Equity Loans for Buy to Let Landlords

Tax is not the only consideration.

I have listed 11 good reasons for considering the product and 9 downsides in my main post about equity loans. That’s not to say that everybody should think equity loans are the best thing since sliced bread just because my list of pro’s and cons is 11 vs 9, it doesn’t work that way. The reasons for NOT doing something can be very different to reasons FOR doing something, they are not necessarily like for like considerations. For example, I also prefer a strategy of high gearing combined with high liquidity over a low gearing strategy because that’s what suits me and my attitude to risk. It does not mean that people who prefer a different strategy are either wrong or right, it just proves we are all different, hence we have other preferences such as careers, holidays, cars, films, food and where we live.

For further information and discussion about equity loans please CLICK HERE.


BTL Second Charge Mortgages / No Monthly Payments Advice, Buy to Let News, Commercial Finance Broker Blog, Financial Advice, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

No this is NOT a wind up, it’s 100% genuine and is important that you know how it works so that at the very least you can make an informed decision about new financing choices which until now have been unavailable to buy to let landlords.

It really is a fantastic way to improve cashflow and rental profits or increase gearing without the need to remortgage.

A very credible mortgage lender (Castle Trust) is offering second charge buy to let mortgages with no interest charges and no monthly payments based on 20% of value subject to both the first and second mortgage combined not exceeding 85% LTV on BTL deals and 80% on your own home.

You can use the money in whatever way you wish, for example:-

  1. You can use it to pay down existing mortgages
  2. You can save the money for a rainy day
  3. You can use the money to buy more property
  4. In fact, you can blow it all at the local casino if your daft enough too!

So what’s the catch?

With no monthly payments or monthly interest charged, the lender must get paid somehow. This product works with a profit share basis, in that you borrow 20% of the value of your property the lender will take 40% of any increase in value – on sale or refinance.

You will also need to obtain permission from your existing mortgage lender for a second charge to be added.

Given that your equity in the property may represent as little as 15% of the value of the property and you will receive 60% of the capital appreciation you don’t need to be Einstein to work out that it’s better to use their money than yours, especially if you use the extra money raised to purchase more properties. Remember, you will not be making any payment or incurring any interest whatsoever until you sell or refinance.

Imagine if somebody put this deal to you …. I want to buy a property, you put 20% of the money and I will put in 15% and borrow the remaining 65%. I take all the rental profit/losses and when we eventually sell the property I will get 60% of the capital appreciation and you will get 40%. Oh and by the way, I will decide when we sell, OK? You would probably say no wouldn’t you? Well if you put that deal to Castle Trust, chances are they will say yes providing you have a good credit rating. It really is that good.

Basic criteria

The loan term can be up to 30 years if the equity loan is secured against your own home, 10 years if it’s a rental property.

Your total LTV must not exceed 85% on a rental property, 80% if the loan is secured on your own home..

There are no limits on the number of properties the lender will consider lending on per borrower and their maximum loan exposure to any one client is £1 million.

The minimum advance is £10,000.

For rental properties there is no requirement to have a first mortgage.

You must be able to prove that you have been a landlord for at least six months to qualify and you also need a decent credit score.

Pros and cons?

I can see several reasons why this will be attractive to landlords and I will be using this product myself for the following reasons …

  1. Deals may not stack up on rent to ordinarily qualify for an 85% LTV mortgage but may do so on this basis
  2. It’s a relatively easy way to raise capital against the security of your existing rental portfolio or your own home
  3. Improved cashflow when compared to a conventional mortgage for a higher amount
  4. Raise money without paying off an amazing tracker or fixed rate deal arranged pre-credit crunch
  5. Avoid potentially extortionate fees associated with refinancing
  6. Increase borrowing without affecting cashflow
  7. Use of other peoples money to increase leverage and returns on capital invested
  8. Castle Trust do not legal or valuation fees to arrange finance on your own home and their arrangement fees are only 1% of the advance. Valuations on rental properties cost £195+ VAT and conveyancing costs £216. This means that total fees are likely to be significantly less than arranging a conventional remortgage.
  9. Some landlords will wish to borrow 20% LTV via Castle Trust to partially redeem their mortgage with another lender and thus benefit from improved cashflow.
  10. Some landlords will wish to utilise this product to borrow more money
  11. Some landlords will wish to mix and match, i.e. reduce existing interest bearing debt and increase overall gearing to 85% LTV

Downsides

  1. Your risk is higher than that of Castle Trust because they get paid back before you do on the basis they have second charge over the property. Therefore, if the property decreases in value then you carry the majority of the risk. However, unless you’ve come to the end of the loan term it’s up to you to decide when you sell, they have no say in it.
  2. Future remortgaging may prove more difficult
  3. No new build property, i.e. properties built in the last two years
  4. The product is only available on properties located in England and Wales (not Scotland or Northern Ireland)
  5. 40% reduction in any future capital appreciation but you do need to consider that you may well be able to use the money to make a better return elsewhere
  6. The improved cashflow, in comparison to an higher traditional mortgage, will increase taxable income. However, many will see that it’s better to pay tax on profit than to have no profit at all
  7. Early repayment charge of 5% in year one
  8. If you wish to repay the loan without selling the property then you are committed to proving Castle Trust a return equal to the greater of 2% per year for the period which the loan has run or 40% of the rise in property price
  9. You will need to contact your existing mortgage lender before progressing matters to establish whether they will allow a second charge to be taken

We have no idea how long this funding will be available for so if this is of interest we recommend you to get in quickly. BTL Further Advances No Monthly Payments

We will be arranging introductions to brokers on a panel of specialist advisers which I have personally hand picked. The role of the adviser will be to review your portfolio and provide you with bespoke advice and quotations based upon your personal circumstances.

We are also considering the demand for free of charge introductions to a non-advised mortgage packager service. However, unless you consider yourself to be a sophisticated investor and in need of no advice and associated protection we strongly recommend you to obtain professional advice from our carefully selected panel of advisers.

Obviously we want to make some money out of this too so we are charging a fee of for introductions to our panel of professional advisers. By charging for the introductions we, and the advisers we are referring to, recognise that only serious enquirers will progress matters. This is a good way to ensure that our advisers are not bogged down answering questions from time wasters and also provides a very a good reason for our recommended advisers to prioritise our referrals.

Our fee for arranging an introduction to a professional adviser, who will visit you to provide face to face advice if that is required, is £200, payable to Innovative Landlord Solutions LLP (the legal owner of Property118.com) either by credit/debit card or via PayPal. You will then be contacted within 7 days.

Professional Adviser Introduction Request Form

  • Price: £ 200.00
    Fees are non-refundable


Is 100% buy to let leverage a good idea or not? Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I’m looking to do my first time buy to let by releasing c. £25,000 -£37,000 equity from my main residence and the remaining £75,000 to £113,000 on a buy-to-let mortgage to buy a 2 bed property costing c. £120,000 to £150,000. Is 100 percent buy to let leverage a good idea or not

Mark suggests always having 20% cash in the bank but that would mean delaying my purchase by 2 years.

Looking for advice on whether to get going now or keep saving?

Regards

Clod Hopper


The history of buy to let interest rates Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I’m trying to build my property portfolio in London and I’m slightly cautious as to the level of gearing I should aim towards. Buy to let interest rates

Generally rental yields in London are fairly modest and I’m mindful of the potential long term upward trends in interest rates.

I was searching online to get the historic average BTL interest rate and its relationship to the base rate at that point in time in order to project the future BTL rates post economic recovery. Does anyone know where I can I find such information?

Kind Regards

James


Mezzanine Finance for Developers Commercial Finance, Latest Articles

(By Malcolm Jones of Brooklands Commercial Finance)

Despite the Banks recent profit announcements, Developers are still being frustrated by their continued reluctance to lend. When Banks are prepared to lend on development projects the percentage of costs or of the Gross Development Value (GDV) is often so low that it is not workable.

Many borrowers are now turning to Commercial Finance Brokers such as ourselves to assist with raising the total finance required.

Most property development loans can be broken down into Senior Debt loans and Mezzanine Loans. The Senior Debt element is the amount lent by the bank or finance company and this is often limited to 60% of the costs. Mezzanine finance is a second charge loan that sits on top of the senior loan and hence the name “Mezzanine”.

Mezzanine Finance

Due to the dramatic drop in bank lending to the property sector in recent years, many successful and profitable residential developments have made use of Mezzanine finance. With the Senior debt lender funding 60% of the costs the Mezzanine lender will often lend 30% of the costs, leaving a requirement of only 10% from the developer.

The finance can cover the costs of the land purchase, site and infrastructure costs, build costs and professional fees.

By using Mezzanine finance the developer is able to reduce his equity contribution, spread his risk and considerably enhance the percentage return on his own invested funds. Although Mezzanine finance is more expensive than Senior debt, there are many financial advantages.

For example:

Mr A goes for low gearing Mr B goes for high gearing
Mr A invests £200,000 in building 1 house Mr B invests £200,000 in building 6 houses
The GDV is £600,000 The GDV is £3,600,000
Finance at 50% £200,000 Finance at 90% £1,800,000
Finance cost £50,000   Finance cost at £450,000
Net Profit £150,000 Net Profit £550,000
Gross Profit 33% Gross profit 33%
Return on developers money 75% Return on developers money 275%

Because of the increased risk to the mezzanine company, they look for experience developers, good projects and a reasonable profit level.

If you require any assistance with Development finance please Click Here

Mezzanine Finance


12.5% return on cash invested on a newly refurbished Manchester based development Commercial Finance, Latest Articles, Property For Sale

Last week I was presented with a Manchester based buy-to let investment opportunity which looks particularly attractive. The gross yield is just over 11% but with the benefit of gearing, and having allowed for all costs, the cash on cash returns are coming out at 12.5%. Manchester Buy to Let

I have done some due diligence (you should always do your own though, please don’t rely on mine) and part of that was checking out the availability of finance on these properties.

The only possible drawbacks I can see thus far is that the maximum mortgage is 65% of value plus a lender fee of £995 added to each loan. This is due to the properties being priced at £42,500 and being sold as a new development. The issue with this is that BM Solutions are the only lender offering terms. As BM Solutions are part of the Lloyds Banking Group that can sometimes cause problems due to the group having a rule not to provide more than three mortgages to any one client. The Lloyds Banking Group includes Lloyds Bank, BM Solution, The Mortgage Business, Halifax and C&G.

If you can live with that, and especially if you are married or have a partner, and you and your partner have no mortgages with any of these companies, you could, theoretically at least, buy six of these properties, i.e. 3 each.

The alternative, of course, is to buy the properties for cash and then look to refinance them based on market value after say 6 months.

In the meantime, these are the numbers that came out when I analysed the deal using the Property118 Landlords Calculator:-

Property valued at £50,000 each (15 available, 18 already sold at full price)

Discount offered to Property118 to sell the remaining units 15%

Net price £42,500 each

Monthly rent £400 (based on comparables provided by local agents)

Gross rental yield 11.29%

Mortgage £28,620 based on 65% borrowing plus £995 lender fee added to advance

LTV 67.34%.

Deposit required for each property £13,880.

Interest rate 4.84% (Loan via BM Solutions – IFA to advise best product, this one was selected at random for illustrative purposes)

Mortgage interest £115.34 per month

I have estimated that 35% of rental income will be required to fund the costs of; advertising/letting, management, Gas checks, maintenance, ground rents, service charges and void periods This equates to a monthly averaged cost of £140.

Therefore, cashflow based on the current interest rate is £144.57 per month

Based on these figures the return on equity is 12.5% on cashflow alone. This is net annual cashflow expressed as a percentage of the equity in the property. This calculation is also referred to as; return on cash, cash on cash return, return on capital employed/invested, ROC and ROCI. A 12.5% return on equity is far better than you would get in a bank account and far greater than you can borrow money for too. Over the long term you may also wish to factor capital appreciation into the equation too.

This deal breaks even when interest rates hit 10.9%

If this is of interest and you would like to download details of the development with a view to arranging a viewing and/or making an offer please complete the form below.


My New Build Property Investment Strategy Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies, Property News, Property Sourcing

My New Build Property Investment StrategyTwo bedroom new build houses are my favourite type of property to invest into. They are easy to let, offer good rental yields and appeal to first time buyers when you want to resell.

I recently purchased the one pictured left at the price it cost the developer to build it.

The majority of the development has been sold to owner occupiers who paid considerably more than I did. Continue reading My New Build Property Investment Strategy


Barry’s story – it could have been you! Financial Advice, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Barry’s story was written by the Mark Alexander back in December 2010. It has since been updated and re-published. The dates, times and people are fictional but the story is based on real life events.

It’s a modern update of the classic “A Widow’s story”, this time written as a cautionary tale for landlords and their families.

Continue reading Barry’s story – it could have been you!


Property118 Landlords Newsletter – Issue 114 Newsletter

This week’s edition features Julie Ford looking at the rise of virgin landlords and Ben Reeve-Lewis delves deeper into his Tenancy Relations Officer role. There is also news of buy to let mortgage changes, an update on the government and insurance companies stand off and a round up of landlords in court.

Continue reading Property118 Landlords Newsletter – Issue 114


Property Forum and News website where UK landlords and letting agents share best practice