Covid-19: valuations are happening and the property market slowly begins to move again

On Wednesday 13th May, the government advised that workers in England who

aren’t able to work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open. This

represented a slight relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions that were originally put in

place that had temporarily put most lenders, estate agents and the housing market to

a halt. Since then, most lenders have announced that physical valuations have

resumed, providing it is conducted in a safe manner that complies with the

government’s guidelines.

Prior to the government’s announcement of the slight ease in restrictions, the buy-to-

let mortgage sector was hit particularly hard during the lockdown period.

All applications that involved HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation), MUBs (Multi-

Unit Blocks) type of properties, most new build properties and most Limited

Company buy-to-lets, had to be temporarily suspended because a physical valuation

was required, regardless of the loan-to-value.

Those with “standard construction” type properties faced a mixture of desktop

valuations where possible, or a cap in loan-to-values that affected borrowing

amounts. Depending on the lender, many purchases and remortgages still required

physical valuations which put these applications to a halt too. Some lenders stopped

lending to buy-to-let properties and accepting new applications altogether because of

the pandemic.

Therefore, the start of in-person valuations allows the housing market to slowly open

up again, and those mortgage applications that were paused, can now proceed.

Many lenders are also now gradually going back to their pre-Covid 19 lending criteria

and product range, albeit cautiously and slowly.

At such an uncertain and unprecedented time period, many questions still remain with how lenders should appropriately be approaching the situation. The mortgage market as a whole is constantly changing on a daily basis.

If you have a mortgage application in process, it would be a good idea to get in touch with your mortgage broker for an update as they ‘d be able to contact both lender and solicitor

to ensure things keep moving as efficiently as possible.

If you are interested to see what mortgages are currently available, what changes

have been made, or if you have any questions about your own mortgage, speak to a

broker here at Mortgage Advance who would be willing to help you.