Lenders have gradually started to expand their mortgage ranges, after temporarily withdrawing some of their products when the lockdown was introduced.
Many lenders restricted the number of mortgages on offer so that they could cope with demand from homeowners requesting payment holidays. Physical valuations have also had to halt, with staff shortages and office closures adding to lenders’ pressures.
However, recent days have seen lenders begin to reintroduce some of the deals they withdrew, including higher loan to value (LTV) mortgages. Halifax and Nationwide, two of Britain’s biggest lenders have both expanded their product availability including higher LTV deals, increasing the number of mortgage options available to customers.
Some lenders have been able to reintroduce mortgages because they’ve expanded their use of automated and desktop valuations, which calculate a property’s value using a wide variety of data including comparable transactions. That will enable many applications to proceed as normal for a broader range of borrowers, not just those with very large amounts of equity. HSBC, for example, is using desktop valuations for loans of up to 90% of the property value.
Specialist lenders also increase mortgage options
Lenders which offer more specialist options to those who might otherwise struggle to get a mortgage, for example more recently self-employed borrowers, have also increased their mortgage ranges.
Precise and Kent Reliance for example, are both now accepting applications and using desktop valuations on Buy to Let and residential mortgages so they can continue processing applications.
Some mortgages will still require a physical valuation from a surveyor. In this situation lenders are likely to simply pause the application and borrowers but must be prepared to wait until a valuation can take place before it can progress further.
Mortgage market starts moving again