An exciting day today as we had the official confirmation that estate agents and lettings agents can re-open in England (Sorry Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland….but we know you’ll not be too far behind)! We’ve already heard reports of estate agents being swamped with enquiries and Rightmove groaning under the weight of over 2,000 new listings!
There’s lots of good news to share with you from today so let’s get cracking with the latest criteria changes that you need to know about…..
Lenders who have paused accepting new mortgage applications:
Lenders who have reinstated lending:
- Bluestone Mortgages have resumed lending on both Residential and Buy to Let. They are taking new applications on their Clear product range up to 75% LTV
Changes to income and affordability restrictions:
Changes to occupation restrictions:
Physical Valuation Updates and associated criteria
- Accord Mortgages have said that where possible, all new applications will be subject to a physical valuation. The reinstatement of physical valuations means that they can now again accept purchase applications on flats and non-standard construction on both Residential and Buy to Let but doesn’t include New Build which is being considered separately
- Halifax have announced that they expect their physical valuations to resume as of Monday 18th May
- HSBC have confirmed that they have already started booking in physical valuations and they will be starting with the oldest ‘paused’ cases first but that a ‘fast track’ option would be considered for urgent requests
- Skipton for Intermediaries are resuming physical valuations for both Residential and Buy to Let applications in England only at this time. They will contact you by secure email and contact your client by text message to confirm
- Bluestone Mortgages will be doing Desktop Valuations on both new and pipeline applications where they qualify
- Bluestone Mortgages have stated that the maximum loan amount for a Desktop Valuation is £500,000
Buy to Let
- Accord Mortgages are increasing their maximum LTV to 85% LTV from Friday 15th May. They will also be increasing their maximum property value from £1million to £2million
Buy to Let
There is only one piece of industry news today and it’s the headline that we’ve all been waiting for……”Housing market reopens”. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced both in the Houses of Commons this morning and then at the daily press conference that “From today anyone in England can move house if they follow the new guidance we have published.” The government have updated the guidance on their website which you can read here.
There is also a guide which has been produced by trade bodies and other organisations across the residential sector, click here to view.
We are expecting to see some more specific guidance for surveyors issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) by the end of the week.
In some cases, there have been additional restrictions placed on things like loan sizes and property values to enable the lender to do Desktop Valuations. You’ll find these have been amended by the lenders in the relevant criteria categories on Knowledge Bank. There are also the “lender announcements” under the lender’s logos in the search results to alert you to anything you need to be aware of before placing the case. To see these features and much more, log in to Knowledge Bank here.
Our Lender Relationship Manager, Matthew Corker comments:
“Well we called it at the beginning of the week and here we are! The return of physical valuations…..and the re-opening of estate agents and viewings. Green shoots indeed!
We’ve been told today that Connells are returning to physical valuations on Monday 18th May and e.surv expect to resume physical valuations within the next two weeks.
Of course there will be delays and challenges as there is the backlog to deal with and also for the valuation companies, the need to bring their surveyors back from being furloughed, so it’s inevitable that they will all start at different times as they get their ducks in a row.
Don’t forget that you can search on Knowledge Bank to check which valuation company the lender uses. Go into either “The Search” to look at all lenders in one go or in “The Bank” to check out a specific lender and search on the category for “Valuation Company”. This may help you give a little more guidance to your clients on timescales as surveying companies announce the dates that their physical valuations will recommence.”