The UK mortgage market is one of the most liquid, competitive, and complicated in the world.
There are hundreds of mortgage providers who lend in the UK, from major international banks to niche building societies and alternative lenders. Each lender has their own specialisation and position in the market where they excel. They also have lending criteria, interest rates, processes and oddities which are specific to them.
The UK has a considerable number of lending channels. There are regulated mortgages, unregulated mortgages, buy-to-let finance, bridging finance, commercial mortgages and more. It's easy to see why the lending market is so complicated.
The UK's finance options are plentiful. There are huge pools of liquidity (some of it incredibly cheap), and you can enjoy flexible lending terms. If you are a foreign national, expat, a high-net-worth individual, are self-employed, have significant assets but relatively low taxable income or anything in between, the UK mortgage market will have an option for you.
Enness specialises in helping high-net-worth and international individuals secure the best possible mortgage finance in the UK. If you have unusual circumstances and need to secure lending to purchase a property, Enness is the specialist for you.
There are many ways to access the UK lending market. What do you need to know, and with so many options, which is best for you?
There’s nothing wrong with going direct to a lender. If your circumstances are straightforward and you are looking for a simple mortgage, this is often the best route. Many people approach a lender directly with great success.
You should know that it’s not always plain sailing, though: mortgage applications are tricky. You may find it challenging to navigate the process alone.
You also won’t know the full scope of what’s on offer in the market - there are too many lenders to be able to approach them one by one, and many you won't know about, including great alternative or niche lenders. In Enness’ view, you have around a 1/500 chance of getting the very best terms available if you go direct to a lender. Well worth bearing in mind.
Sites like moneysupermarket.com boomed during the 2010s and became hugely influential. Generally, these sites are paid on an affiliate basis. You can use them to learn about rates and to point you in the direction of a mainstream lender. Beyond that? They are pretty useless.
Robo-brokers are the new (digital) kids on the block. There is enormous possibility for this part of the market, and robo-advisors are gaining pace. They are also raising significant sums of money to automate and standardise the UK’s mortgage marketplace. You’ll find that robo-brokers are limited to more straightforward property transactions and clientele. They rely on algorithms, so they can’t cater to complicated deals or atypical situations.
Unregulated mortgage brokers only offer half the market: unregulated mortgages. As a result, they have less oversight, and you won’t get access to the entire marketplace through them. Unregulated mortgage brokers are often specialists in buy-to-let mortgages or commercial finance.
Fee-free mortgage brokers will offer you mortgages from select lenders who pay the fee-free brokers a commission in return for new clients. Ideal for the 95% of borrowers who make up the mainstream mortgage market, fee-free mortgage brokers are inexpensive, efficient and accessible. However, if you have a complicated scenario or anything other than a very straightforward transaction, they are unlikely to be the best fit for you.
Why? Because fee-free brokers understandably need commissions to stay in business, they will only refer you to firms they have a referral structure in place with. Even if fee-free brokers know of lenders who will offer you a more competitive or attractive mortgage than their usual lender network has, it’s unlikely they will recommend them to you because they do not receive a financial benefit for doing so.
Fee charging regulated brokers are the gold standard of mortgage brokers. For good reason. You pay your broker to give you personalised advice based on your circumstances. These brokers will understand your plans, explain, compare and advise you. They will then manage the entire process for you to deliver the result you’re looking for. Fee charging brokers act exclusively on your side. They will have access to the whole marketplace and generally offer a more comprehensive range of services and solutions than other brokers.
Enness is in this last set. Enness exists for clients who don’t fit the box or don’t want to be put in one. You can expect solutions whatever your circumstances, situation or ambitions.
You want the best rate and the best terms. Even if your plans are ambitious, complex or sensitive. Here’s how Enness makes that happen for you:
Enness’ mortgage broker will work with you on a one-to-one basis. Your broker will be available every day, at any hour, doing whatever needs to be done to ensure your transaction flows smoothly. Communicating, problem-solving and pushing things along.
Enness predominately works with high-net-worth and serious borrowers who understand and value the firm’s contribution and want to ensure a clear process and excellent execution. For these reasons, Enness is often only required for high-value, international and complex transactions, although Enness can offer services to any client who fit the firm’s criteria.
The mortgage rate you will be offered in the UK varies widely based on who you are, the part of the market you are operating in, the quality of your advice and what you are trying to do.
Here are some ranges as an example:
There are options for every possible scenario. Whether you are recently self-employed, borrowing past retirement age, need a buy-to-let mortgage, commercial finance or find yourself in any other situation, Enness will be able to find the best rates and the best terms. You don’t need to think of yourself as being in a category. The Enness team will simply present a solution based on your interactions and ambitions.
Enness’ job is to get you as much money as you need, as cheaply as possible and in the timeframes you require. You can expect your broker to cover all options and guide you to the best solution based for you.
Enness offers every type of UK mortgage, for example:
You don’t need to worry about what type of mortgage you need - that’s Enness’ job. Know that Enness will get you the “best”, “biggest”, or the “cheapest” mortgage on the market, in line with your ambitions and whatever your circumstances. Your situation may mean that there is only one mortgage solution available to you on the entire market. Enness will find you that one lender.
Generally, if you are buying a property that you intend to live in, you will require a regulated mortgage. A regulated mortgage obliges lenders to apply stricter criteria and assess your income and expenditure to confirm the mortgage is affordable.
Unregulated mortgages are for properties that will not be used as your home but that you let on the open market to fee-paying tenants.
You may wish to buy a property in London as a holiday home, investment, for friends and family or for other reasons. Some lenders will still view this as a regulated mortgage. However, other lenders offer an unregulated mortgage if you are a non-UK resident, a high-net-worth individual and you will only use the property occasionally. If so, you will likely be able to bypass the usual income, expenditure and affordability process and have a mortgage based on loan-to-value, your net worth or your profile.
High-net-worth mortgages are available if you have an annual income of more than £300k or a net worth of £3 million, excluding your principal residence. Meet these criteria and you can usually opt out of regulated oversight. Lenders will base your mortgage eligibility on your net worth, asset base, family position and other factors. You also won’t get tied down in income, expenditure and affordability analysis.
You may not meet the “standard” income requirements many banks require for regulated mortgages. Perhaps you:
If you fall into one of the above categories (or a similar one), you will want a broker who has the experience and understanding to secure a mortgage for you. Enness knows this area of the market inside out. Enness’ broker will help you prepare your application and will always negotiate the best terms on your behalf.
Enness’ team will make sure your mortgage offer is granted based on the entirety of your circumstances, not just what it says on your last tax return. Enness can use one year’s income, retained profit, a variable bonus history, pre-paid mortgages, high-net-worth exemptions, sole borrower joint proprietor and all manner of other mechanisms to get you the mortgage you need.
People claim self-employed mortgages are complicated and hard to secure. Enness begs to differ. Self-employed mortgages can be straightforward. In fact, the process isn’t that dissimilar to what employed borrowers need to follow. The only difference is that lenders will consider some additional factors. If you are self-employed:
Usually, you will need to have been self-employed for one year or more, or have one tax return, or have one year’s accounts to secure a mortgage if you are self-employed. There are some separate rules if you have moved from an employee to a partner/self-employed in the same industry or company that you may be able to benefit from.
Enness understands how to arrange mortgages for entrepreneurs, business owners and self-employed people and have a track record to match. Your broker will always ensure you are offered the best mortgage, based on your hard work and profile.
Buy-to-let mortgages are based on the rental income you will generate letting the property out. They are generally unregulated, although, in some circumstances, they will be regulated. Most lenders will need your property’s rental income to exceed the mortgage by 110% to 150%. The rate at which this is calculated may not be the actual rate you will pay. As you can see, buy-to-let mortgages are anything but straightforward!
To add to the complication, many lenders will want you to have a certain level of income. You may also need to showcase you have some experience in owning buy-to-let properties. Other lenders may be concerned if you have a portfolio of buy-to-let properties on the basis more properties could add more risk. The rules are also different if you are buying in a limited company or an LLP where you will need a specific structure, personal guarantees and other elements.
If the rental income isn’t sufficient to cover the mortgage, some lenders take your personal income into account to determine how much you can borrow. This is called “top-slicing.” It is helpful for low yielding properties, high-value properties or if you have a very large income.
The buy-to-let mortgage market is hugely technical and very competitive. There are more lenders here than you can imagine, and each will have individual quirks or oddities in their lending criteria you will need to navigate.
Enness will help you secure the best buy-to-let finance based on your property and circumstances.