Your Business and Industry

18 December 2020

How lenders are dealing with the 67% increase in purchases

The impact of the second national lockdown was far less severe than the initial lockdown period on the property and mortgage markets.

It’s fair to say that lessons had been learnt and all lenders operated from a far more educated and robust lending platform second time round. With fewer restrictions in place, the mortgage market remained open for new lending and demand remained strong.

Rightmove’s House Price Index reported strong lockdown demand as new sellers were pricing keenly to beat the stamp duty deadline, with a national average asking price of £322,025 in November down -0.5% from October.

Here, we have benefitted from a successful Q3 and equally productive Q4, which has resulted in a significant new business pipeline.

Herein lies the issue of it not quite being ‘business as usual’. Rightmove, now estimates 650,000 sales currently going through the buying and selling process. That’s 67% more than at the same time in 2019, and illustrates the scale of the challenges now being faced by mortgage lenders and the legal profession to get these deals to legal completion.

With this in mind, alongside our continued appetite and commitment to accepting new business, we have taken steps to ensure that we are closely managing and expediting pipeline cases where possible. We are in the fortunate position that our in-house servicing offers total control to reallocate resources to focus more of our attention on servicing areas of high demand. As such – in addition to their ‘normal’ broker support role - our internal and regional BDMs are currently working closely with brokers to gain the final requirements on all applications. As a result, our underwriters have been able to concentrate on offering on cases with all requirements satisfied; we have doubled our daily offer rate.

BDMs have obviously had to adapt in recent times but a key component within their role has always been to support intermediaries when and where they need it most, and helping as many borrowers as possible to complete before the end of March is certainly an issue which we will continue to focus on in the coming weeks.

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