MortgagesMay 26 2023

Virgin Money adds to mortgage range despite market wobble

Search supported by
Virgin Money adds to mortgage range despite market wobble
(Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

Virgin Money has today (May 26) added a number of new products to its buy-to-let and core mortgage ranges. 

The expansion comes at the same time that a number of smaller and specialist lenders have pulled their products from the market amidst market uncertainty.

In an update sent to intermediaries, Virgin Money announced that from today new 50 per cent and 60 per cent loan-to-value fixed-rates would be available. Both products have a fee of £2,195 and an interest rate of 4.27 per cent. 

As part of its core range of products, Virgin also announced a new shared ownership, residential and buy-to-let product. 

Additions to Virgin Money’s core range include: 

  • Shared Ownership 65% & 75% loan-to-value with fixed rates from 4.11%.
  • Residential 80% loan-to-value with fixed rates from 4.37%.
  • Buy-to-let 80% loan-to-value with fixed rate at 5.20%.

However, alongside these additions, Virgin also announced that it was withdrawing its exclusive buy-to-let tracker rates and increasing a number of its fixed rates. 

These increases included some of its residential and buy-to-let fixed rate products, which will see an interest rate increase of 0.12 percentage points.

The increases follow on from the Bank of England’s base rate increase earlier this month

Currently, the base rate sits at 4.5 per cent - the highest level since 2008. 

Over the course of the past two days, a number of lenders - Lendco, Platform, Fleet Mortgages, Foundation Home Loans - emailed brokers to let them know they were withdrawing products from the market. 

Nationwide Building Society also announced an increase of 0.45 percentage points to selected fixed rate products and its tracker rates.

Some said this was in response to “market uncertainty” and “severe volatility”.

This volatility was triggered by the higher than expected inflation rate for April that was released this week which has undermined confidence in the economy and caused gilt yields to rise. 

In turn, this caused swap rates - a leading indicator for mortgage rates - to increase also.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Nicholas Mendes, a mortgage technical manager at John Charcol, explained that because specialist lenders and smaller lenders do not have the same deposit bank as larger high street lenders, they are the first to price these higher swap rates into their products. 

“They're the ones which are making reactions now - pulling deals, making changes or increasing [rates],” Mendes said.

In Mendes' view, more movement from highstreet lenders is to come. 

However, others in the mortgage market have said their outlook remains positive. 

Speaking to FTAdviser, Oportfolio content and communications manager, Louis Mason said although rates have increased significantly over the past year, things look to be settling.