Lenders Opening Up Again For Mortgages

Published / Last Updated on 24/04/2020

This week saw Nationwide, Halifax, Santander and Virgin offering UK borrowers new mortgages again, after pulling deals or only lending to people with large deposits at the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

  • Nationwide brought back its 85% loan to value (LTV) deal on Wednesday.
  • Halifax changed its minimum LTV from 80% to 85%
  • Santander increased its maximum loans to £500,000 from £300,000 and lowered fees on its residential mortgages.
  • Virgin also started offering its mortgage products again.

Lenders had to re-assess mortgage deals and underwriting at the beginning of lockdown and work out how to continue trading with low staff levels, staff self-isolating with children and no childcare and the high levels of customers arranging mortgage payment holidays.

In turn, they had to change the way they operate and adapt to the lockdown and overcome how properties would be valued as they could not be visited by staff by now using drive-by valuations where the lenders use system generated valuations which also required time for them to gain confidence in the system and rectify any problems.

Comment

All financial services businesses must adapt to cope with new working conditions and we suspect this may change how we all deal with our finances for ever.  For lenders, they are grappling with people being furloughed and asking for payment holidays, property prices falling, difficulties with surveyors valuing properties and interest rates falling meaning lower margins. 

We hope this is the start to more innovation within the financial services sector.

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