Mortgages  

Kensington targets high net worths

Kensington targets high net worths

Kensington Mortgages has launched its ‘Premier’ range of higher value mortgages for borrowers with complex incomes and higher service expectations.

Backed by a dedicated team of underwriters, the new products will bring Kensington’s case-by-case approach to borrowers who are applying for loans of more than £500,000.

The new range offers loans up to £2m, with a maximum limit of £1m for first-time buyers.

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Premier customers will also benefit from lower rates than Kensington’s core range.

Loans will be available up to a maximum 75 per cent loan-to-value, with rates of 3.44 per cent for a two-year fix and 3.74 per cent for a three-year fix.

Up to 65 per cent LTV, rates are 3.34 per cent for a two-year fix and 3.64 per cent for a three-year fix.

All products carry a £999 completion fee.

All decisions are made by an underwriter rather than a credit score and every application will receive a call from a named underwriter to discuss the client’s individual circumstances.

Underwriters will consider 100 per cent variable incomes as standard, and will assess self-employed borrowers based on the latest years’ figures.

Applicants can cite a range of income sources, such as company profits for sole directors.

Borrowers can also choose an interest-only repayment option, should there be a plausible strategy in place to repay the outstanding loan.

Steve Griffiths, head of sales and distribution at Kensington, said as house prices increase, more and more people are looking to take out larger mortgages, particularly when it comes to securing homes in some of the most in demand areas across the UK.

“However, large loans are rarely straightforward and it often takes the involvement of an individual underwriter when it comes to assessing the complex incomes that are often associated with these types of mortgages.

“It has always traditionally been harder for the self-employed or contract workers to obtain mortgages with lenders airing on the side of caution when it comes to complex incomes,” he continued, adding lenders must be more open to taking on clients with difficult situations.

Oliver Marley, a mortgage researcher at broker Independent James, said Kensington’s criteria often allows for the most unusual and slightly higher risk circumstances.

“With larger loans, we often find income needs to be used from unfamiliar sources, and having a dedicated underwriter looking into this will mean they can take a more ‘common sense’ approach and get a real understanding for the clients true position.”

At the end of March, Investec Private Banking updated its mortgage proposition to target borrowers with a minimum income of £300,000 or assets under management over an approximate value of £3m.

Meanwhile, specialist lender Bluestone Mortgages entered the market at the end of last year, focusing on the self-employed and those with adverse credit.

peter.walker@ft.com