While the Government has issued guidelines relating to the housing industry, it is essential people understand agents are still conducting property deals. Like all industries and sectors, the housing market faces challenges and must adapt to the present circumstances. However, business is continuing, and this is also the case for the mortgage industry.
A substantial number of mortgage lenders and brokers are following recommendations regarding social distancing. With many employees working from home, the industry is still in a position to provide support and assistance for clients, even though there are several challenges.
Mortgage market: lenders face many challenges in the current climate
Some firms will have a reduced workforce, and of course, a lot of resources are dealing with clients requesting information about mortgage payment holidays, and remortgaging. This is a challenging time for many people and industries, and some businesses will inevitably prioritise specific issues over others.
Michelle Andrews is HSBC UK’s head of buying a home, and she said: “Our mortgage range across all LTVs is still available and open for applications, and we aren’t seeing upward pressure on pricing. We will look to make the most of technology and utilise desktop and automated property valuations where we can, and, where this is not possible due to limitations on physical valuations, such as lending above 90% LTV and new-build properties, these applications will be put on hold until we can take them forward.”
The company is imposing daily limits, and once these limits have been reached, the range is limited for the rest of that day. This is frustrating for people looking to arrange a mortgage, but in the current circumstances, delays and reductions in service are commonplace. The company hopes to provide more services soon, with Michelle saying; “We will, of course, continue to review the situation regularly and hope it isn’t too long before the market returns closer to normal.”
Homebuyers have more mortgage options to consider
Nationwide have shown their commitment to the market by reintroducing interest-only mortgages. Initially, this service will only be made available via brokers.
Henry Jordan is the Nationwide’s Director of Mortgages, and he said: “As the UK’s second-largest lender, it is natural that we continue to look at ways we can support the mortgage market. At almost 7%, interest-only remains an important part of the market, which is why we are launching this new product, initially via brokers.”
Henry continued by saying; “During these unprecedented times, it is important to continue offering a variety of options and flexibility to homeowners and, by adding interest only, we are providing access to our standard product range to applicants with good equity.”
Anyone who is considering buying a home or who is looking for guidance on mortgage matters should be aware the market is operating, and help is available. Each person and household have their priorities at this current time. For some parties, the present circumstances will only reinforce their need and desire to step onto the property ladder.