Over the last few weeks, we have heard lots from borrowers whose mortgage deals are coming to an end. They are struggling to find the best option for them to take, especially during these uncertain times. For example, this particularly applies to people looking to Remortgage and those on fixed-term mortgage deals.
As a trusted Mortgage Broker in Hull, we want to keep on providing you with expert advice and point you and your mortgage in the right direction. The actual ‘Moneyman’ – Malcolm Davidson, had a BBC Radio interview on the 15th April 2020 where he answered lots of questions regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 and how it could affect your mortgage. Here are some questions that you may be asking if you are approaching the end of your current mortgage deal or are in the middle of a purchase and are not sure what to do.
“Yes, it is but banks are struggling with certain elements of their operations as well. So if you have a nice low loan-to-value, you are right, the rates on offer are just absolutely phenomenal. You can be fixing your interest rate for 5 years at less than 2%, so if you can get a mortgage and your deal is due for a renewal, now is an amazing time to do it.
The news isn’t quite so good if you are at the higher end loan-to-value if you have only got 5 or 10% equity. One of the major reasons for that is that for those customers that haven’t got much equity in their property or are looking to buy a house with a small deposit, the lenders will have to send out a valuer to check the value of the property. This isn’t a problem at the lower end of a loan-to-value scale because lenders tend to do automated valuations, they can tell how much your house is worth just by looking at a computer screen.
Now, of course, surveyors and valuers are also in lockdown so they can’t come out and value the home. Also, as borrowers, you wouldn’t want them coming into your house. So, it very difficult for them to function at that end of the borrowing spectrum. Initially, a lot of lenders decided to reduce their maximum loan-to-values down to 60%, however, you will most likely find that they’re around 75% as a maximum. You still will find that the odd lender is functioning above 75% though.”
“No actually I think that it is going to get easier. The first few days after the payment holidays where introduced and after they started receiving lots of calls, they set up online facilities to allow you to request payment holidays which has reduced the number of calls coming in. So, they knew that the demand for mortgage deals would be quite high.
Social distancing must be really hard in call centres, so I think that they are going to have to phase staff back into head offices. I think things will return to normal later on in the year quite quickly, the banks had big lending targets, they were all coming to see me at the beginning of the year with their big plans. I’m pretty sure that the Government will want to get the property market back up and running as fast as they can as it is such a big cash cow and it generates a lot of corporation tax from the finance industry. So I think that they will want to do everything that they can to get people back to buying houses and taking out mortgages again as quickly as possible once the coronavirus situation has come to an end.”
“We have had a lot of enquires about furloughing, I think that a lot more companies have taken this up than the government originally expected, and the cost is going to be massive, will be about £10 billion a month. Sadly, a lot of the workers that are on furlough leave realistically might not come back to their jobs.
Lenders are reacting to this in a good way and really supporting their borrowers. Some lenders are continuing to lend to furloughed workers or they are not taking into account things like bonus, commission and overtime payments, they are only basing their lending on the 80% of the salary.”
“If you feel that there is a risk that you may not return to work, then you shouldn’t proceed to buy a property, it’s a long term investment and such a big commitment to make. You could look at it differently if your deal is coming to a renewal. If for some reason you cannot swap lenders because your deal is finishing and you are on furlough or your loan-to-value is too high, often you will find that it is possible to take a product transfer or a product switch within your current lender. Those products will be made available to you either directly or through a Mortgage Broker in Hull, like us.
You can apply for these products without any proof of income because the lender is putting you in a better position by offering you a lower rate than what you would be on if you would roll straight onto their standard variable rate of interest. All of these products remain completely available and lenders are quite active in that market as well to support borrowers.
A lot of the specialist lenders who operate with customers that have had poor credit history have stopped lending. Other than that no one is really pulling mortgage offers. In fact, mortgage offers normally stand for 6 months, however, some lenders are extending their mortgage offers to 9 months in some cases, so if you are halfway through a purchase, a further 3 months could really help you out.”
“Not so far but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see that later down the line though. We have no sort of stats of reductions in purchase prices. Everything on pause so there would really be no point in trying to negotiate at the moment. The big financial institutions and the law firms aren’t really geared up to be working from home, so everything has sort of stopped in its tracks. We could see people trying to negotiate down the line it’s hard to say at this point.
If people are worried that their asset might reduce, it would be understandable for them to be thinking twice about their purchase. This may lead to them pulling out of the purchase. Our industry is just like everyone else’s, the sooner everything is behind us the better.”
“Yes and no. It’s always a good idea to get ahead with your payments. If you have got some spare money then you could pay a chunk off your mortgage and the more that you pay, the less interest you will pay overall.
On the other side of the coin, it’s never been as cheap to borrow, so your mortgage is only 1 or 2%, so it is a great time to save and also a great time borrow.”