Funding A Property Purchase for a Family Member

Property Purchase For A Family Member

Bridging finance specialists across the UK have noted an uptick in applications from parents looking to help get their kids on the property ladder. Not that this is particularly surprising when considering the unprecedented difficulties being faced by first-time buyers.

In May, the average house price in the UK hit another record high of £289,099. This represents an increase of more than £2,850 from the previous month or 1%. House prices have now soared to record highs for 11 consecutive months and are up an astonishing 10.5% from the same time last year.

The likelihood of house prices falling over the coming months is minimal, but there are at least signs of a modest slowdown in house price acceleration.

“Yes, prices have still risen 1 per cent on the month, marking the eleventh successive monthly increase, and yes, prices are up by 10.5 per cent on the year, keeping annual price growth in double digits, but this is the slowest rate of growth since the start of the year and shows the challenges ahead cannot be ignored,” commented Alice Haine, Personal Finance Analyst at investment platform Best Invest.

“With mortgage rates surging, following four consecutive interest rate rises from the Bank of England since December and further hikes expected this year, and inflation of 9 per cent eating into real incomes, it is only natural that prospective buyers may take a pause before plunging into the market right now.

“Add in the cost-of-living crisis and the fact fuel prices are now at record highs [petrol prices set a new average record of 178.5p per litre on Tuesday], and the cost of buying a home may deter those already struggling to meet their monthly obligations.”

Insurmountable costs for first-time buyers

Speaking on behalf of Halifax, managing director Russell Galley highlighted how impossibly expensive it is becoming to buy property in the UK.

“For house hunters, the extent of the impact of property price inflation continues to be linked to the type of home they are looking to buy,” he said.

“Compared to May last year, you would need around £10,000 more to buy a flat, but an additional £50,000 for a detached home.”

“This clearly creates a knock-on effect for those looking to make their first home move, as the rungs on the housing ladder have become increasingly wide.”

For first-time buyers, pulling together a ten per cent deposit for an average UK home now means saving at least £30,000. Where lenders insist on 15% or 20% deposits, the figure could be as high as £60,000.

Even last year, when average house prices were lower than today, data from Barclays indicates that the average deposit paid by a sole first-time buyer was £61,100.

This is the kind of money the typical first-time buyer simply cannot come up with. Faced with an escalated cost-of-living crisis, the dream of homeownership for millions of prospective buyers is likely to remain just that.

House prices are up a staggering £123,016 (or 74%) over the past decade, during which wages for many have stagnated.

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “With prices rising by 74% in the past decade, it shows just how much the market is running away from first-time buyers,” commented Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance.

The bank of mom and dad

Traditionally, parents looking to help their children get on the property ladder have provided financial support in the form of a contribution to their deposit. With deposit requirements at an all-time high, many first-time buyers are finding this the only realistic way to qualify for a mortgage.

Elsewhere, first-time buyers (and their families) are setting their sights on properties away from the conventional housing market. With affordability and accessibility in mind, many are looking to purchase properties in need of renovations and repairs with the aim of gradually moulding them into their dream homes.

This approach has generally proved problematic for first-time buyers seeking funding from mainstream lenders. The vast majority of High Street banks are unwilling to lend against properties in a poor state of repair, which are often categorised as ‘not mortgageable’.

For example, if a property lacks a functional kitchen or a working indoor bathroom, it may be completely out of the running for a conventional mortgage.

This is where bridging finance is proving to be a lifeline for first-time buyers across the country. Bridging loans differ from conventional home loans in that they can be used to purchase any type of property in any state of repair. They are also designed to be repaid as promptly as possible, usually within 1 to 18 months of being issued.

How bridging finance is helping first-time buyers

To understand how parents are using bridging finance to help their children buy their first homes, consider the following everyday example:

  1. A property is set to go under the hammer at auction for considerably less than its true market value, as it requires considerable repairs and renovations to bring it up to a liveable standard.
  2. The parents of the first-time buyer take out a bridging loan, using their own home as security for the facility. Bridging finance can be arranged within just a few working days, making it ideal for time-critical home purchases and investment opportunities.
  3. A bridging loan is provided to cover the full costs of the property and those of the subsequent renovations. The property is purchased at the auction, payment is made in full, and the new owners begin the renovations.
  4. Several months later, the property has been brought up to an excellent standard and is no longer classified as not mortgageable. The property is remortgaged onto a longer-term repayment facility (like a conventional mortgage), and the bridging loan is repaid.
  5. In the meantime, the bridging loan will be charged at a rate as low as 0.5% per month, making it a hugely cost-effective product when repaid promptly.

What is important to note about this approach to purchasing a home are three things:

  1. There is no need to come up with any kind of deposit whatsoever, as no deposit is payable on a bridging loan. This means first-time buyers (with the assistance of their parents) with limited on-hand savings need not be counted out of the running.
  2. Bridging finance opens the door to the kinds of property purchases that would be out of the question with a conventional mortgage. Particularly when it comes to fixer-upper homes in questionable condition, traditional mortgages are typically unavailable.
  3. Prompt repayment of a bridging loan can make the transaction in its entirety so much more affordable than arranging any conventional loan or mortgage. Monthly interest can be as low as 0.5%, and all other associated borrowing costs are negligible.

Given the estimated 200,000 properties in England that have stood unoccupied for six months or more, bargain hunters are advised to extend their search beyond the conventional property market.

Flexible finance for homeowners

Bridging finance is also a significantly more flexible and accommodating facility than any conventional mortgage. This can be particularly useful for applicants who are unable to provide formal proof of income or may have imperfections on their credit file.

Likewise, homeowners who are retired and would likely be turned down by high-street banks are also eligible for bridging finance.

Qualification criteria for bridging finance are not nearly as strict as conventional mortgage eligibility checks.

Bridging loans are issued on the basis of the following:

  1. Ownership of assets of sufficient value to cover the costs of the loan, i.e., the property of the applicant.
  2. Evidence of a workable exit strategy in reference to how and when the loan will be repaid by the borrower

A good credit score and evidence of a stable financial position will pave the way for a more competitive product. But even with poor credit, no proof of income, and a history of bankruptcy, it is still perfectly possible to qualify for bridging finance.

Consult with an experienced broker

If you are considering taking out a bridging loan to help a member of your family get on the property ladder, independent broker support is highly recommended.

Bridging finance is issued in a variety of forms with different purposes in mind, so it is important to know which type of bridging loan is right for you. Your broker will also be able to advise on the alternative financial products available if there is something that could prove more cost-effective than a bridging loan.

Your broker will negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get an unbeatable deal from a top-rated lender. Many of the UK’s leading bridging specialists offer their services exclusively by way of broker introductions and do not deal with customers directly.

For more information on any of the above or to discuss the potential benefits of bridging finance in more detail, contact a member of the team at UK Property Finance today.