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Monday 22 June, 2020

Richard Rushworth, mortgage specialist in Brentwood & Hertford reviews how the mortgage market is re-opening to assist first time buyers and homeowners wanting to move home.

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If you are looking to move home, re-mortgage or you are a first-time buyer or a buy to let investor requiring mortgage advice call our qualified mortgage brokers working in Hertfordshire, Essex, North London and Central London on 01707 872000.

Enquiries increase as mortgage market opens up

As most of you will be aware the property market has now opened back up and our Thomas Oliver mortgage brokers have seen a dramatic increase in enquiries over the last two weeks. This is a good sign for homeowners and investors as it shows there is still a healthy demand for UK properties. This gives us hope that the bounce back and recovery from this pandemic will be quicker than a normal recession. 

Physical property valuations taking place to speed up the mortgage process

Now the property market has opened back up it means physical valuations at properties can take place, which was the main factor that delayed the majority of applications during this pandemic. Obviously, there will be a time delay as lenders try to sort out valuations for transactions that have been put on hold during the 3-month back log. However, this shouldn’t take as long as originally expected as a lot of transactions were allowed to proceed on desktop valuations, especially where there was a healthy equity or deposit with the associated property transaction.

Mortgage lenders open for business

The property market opening up is very positive, but this wouldn’t have made a difference if lenders hadn’t opened up for business at the same time. During this pandemic we saw numerous lenders restricting the amount of lending they were willing to make, and some lenders completely stopped lending. Nevertheless, most lenders are returning to normal now. Our mortgage brokers are finding that there are more products available at a 10% deposit level and slowly we are seeing the loosening of criteria towards a pre- lockdown basis. 

Richard Rushworth, mortgage specialist in Brentwood said: ‘Unfortunately until more businesses are open and less people are on mortgage payment holidays there will always be an element of caution from lenders especially from building societies, for those with less cash reserves. Also, I believe we should be realistic and understand that lenders will have to adapt to a new normal in order to get back to the same time frames for mortgage completions that we were seeing pre lockdown. The good news is some of the necessary transitions have already taken place, for example like working from home, remote valuations and more automated systems. Although, offices will soon be open, capacity will only be at 50% with social distancing in place, which means the transition of offices and workspaces could take time. Overall, although businesses will experience a short-term impact due to these transitions, in the long-term these companies should benefit as they adapt to these new trends.’

Richard Rushworth, mortgage specialist in Cheshunt and Brentwood continued: ‘Finally the help to buy government equity loan scheme has been extended which provides another good incentive to prospective buyers as this is an important scheme that helps individuals get on the property ladder where they otherwise may not have been able to. This and the shared ownership scheme should thrive in the upcoming months as the majority of people still want to own a home and this is the only affordable way to do so for many people. When we compound this with the fact the government is in lengthy discussions with property developers about more affordable housing this can only be seen as a good thing that will speed up our recovery process.  Overall there are a lot of good things coming out as lockdown eases and we have to take the positives and adapt in a healthy and sustainable way.’

In Summary…

If you are looking to see how your circumstances have changed or how you have been affected due to the pandemic please get in touch with our mortgage advisers on 01707 872000. Our mortgage consultants offer a free initial financial consultation to discuss your personalised financial circumstances. Our mortgage brokers can also keep you up to date on all the latest mortgage criteria including how to assess furlough income.

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