The property market may be booming due to pent up demand and the stamp duty holiday, but the continued COVID-19 uncertainty has the mortgage lenders tightening their belts. Residential Consultant, Ross MacTaggart, explains what this means and how you can still find yourself a good mortgage deal.
We know that for anyone who’s been trying to purchase a property recently, the mortgage market has been a tricky place. With pent up demand from Brexit uncertainty and then the lockdown, followed by the perhaps once-in-a-lifetime stamp duty holiday incentive, demand from first-time buyers and home-movers has been record-breaking this summer. However, many have found themselves frustrated and plans thwarted by the lack of actual mortgages on offer from banks and lenders. In fact, new research reveals that the number of available mortgages for those purchasing property has reached a 10-year low. At the beginning of this week, there were 2,259 available mortgages, less than half what was available this time last year!
Another frustration for many would-be borrowers has been how quickly products have come on and off the market. You might have seen the ideal product and come back two days later to complete an application, to find it’s no longer available! The reason for this is that lenders are trying to maintain their process service levels; by withdrawing popular products after a certain number of applications, they can ensure they’re not overloaded and leave borrowers waiting weeks for mortgage offers. Though I doubt this is of much comfort to those struggling to find a suitable mortgage!
Unfortunately, this doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. The ongoing uncertainty about further lockdowns, job losses and the end of the mortgage payment holiday scheme means the lenders are cautiously managing their risk. Despite all this, we did see mortgage offer approvals reach a 13-year high in August, which demonstrates just how active the market is. Hopefully, this also reassures you that lenders are still trying to get offers through!
So, what can you do to secure the mortgage you need? You can get all the documentation required to make a mortgage application together, so it’s ready. Then, watch the mortgage market constantly so that when a rate that works for you appears, you’re ready to apply!
Alternatively, a whole of market mortgage broker will be able to do this for you. Having collected all your essential documentation and checked how much you can borrow on an industry calculator (which is more accurate than an online quick-check one), they’ll be able to research and monitor the mortgage market for you. The main benefit here (besides saving you time) is that a whole of market mortgage broker will have access to a lot of lenders you wouldn’t be able to apply to directly. Ultimately, this will give you more choice and will ensure you get the most suitable finance for you. It also means that when an appropriate and competitive mortgage becomes available, they’ll be able to get your application in quickly, meaning you don’t miss out!
Although the 31st March 2021 seems like a while away, if you’re looking to make the most of the stamp duty holiday, time is of the essence. With lender processes taking considerably longer than pre-COVID and the sheer volume of applications they’ll be trying to process, that March deadline will come around quicker than you think!
To start your mortgage process today, get in contact with me, Ross MacTaggart, on 01732 471 630 or email me RossM@mortgagesforbusiness.co.uk