Homebuyers can borrow up to seven times their income – far above the traditional maximum – from a mortgage lender. Allowing them to buy a home, they did not previously think would be within reach.
Compared to the typical four- to the five-times-salary ratio in the industry, Habito’s new formula for determining how much people can borrow is significantly higher. However, it could also ignite a debate about responsible lending practices as some buyers may be able to scale up their property-buying ambitions. The more generous terms, however, apply only to people who take out one of the company’s fixed-for-life mortgages, launched this year, which allow borrowers to lock their monthly repayments at the same level for up to 40 years.
Building societies and banks take into account a wide range of factors when determining how large a mortgage a person should get. A typical maximum loan is about 4.5 times salary in the UK, but in 2021 many big lenders including Halifax and HSBC raised the maximum to 5.5 times.
Applicants for Habito One mortgages need to work in one of several professions to qualify for the new terms, including firefighters, police officers, nurses, paramedics, and teachers in the public sector. And their minimum basic salary should be £25,000 a year. A borrower with a salary of at least £75,000 is also eligible. A 10% deposit is required for all borrowers.
For a joint application, only one person can receive up to seven times their salary, while the other can receive up to five times their salary. Mortgage interest rates begin at 2.99%.