Please note: The information contained in this article is correct as of 24/04/20. Due to the developing nature of the coronavirus situation it is likely that information will change. As a result, while we will do our best to ensure our blogs are kept up to date, we would always advise you speak with a solicitor for specific advice.

At the start of lockdown, many lenders put new mortgage applications on hold however a number of big name lenders are now keen to kick-start the property market again.

Nationwide, Halifax, Virgin and Santander have all now changed their policies making it easier for people to qualify for a mortgage.

Nationwide and Halifax have both now resumed lending on an 85% loan to value basis whilst Santander have increased their maximum loan size by £200,000 up to £500,000 whilst simultaneously cutting their lender fee for new applicants. Virgin Money has also begun to offer mortgages again meaning that borrowers have an increased choice and a chance of a better deal.

One of the biggest issues in agreeing new mortgage terms has been valuations, however the lenders are now adapting to this with many of them now offering “drive by” valuations allowing them to comply with social distancing guidelines. Confidence in these valuations is understood to have increased, meaning that lenders are now encouraged to begin lending once more.

It is also understood that now the initial demand for mortgage holidays has tapered off, lenders can once again prioritise new lending and re-direct their staff resources to that.

Many lenders are also said to be prioritising NHS workers for remortgages in an attempt to reduce their stress and admin at home. It is also understood that furloughed workers are not set to lose out should they apply for a mortgage with lenders assessing their usual salary, as opposed to the 80% that they may currently be on.

It is hoped that by taking these steps, the post lockdown recovery of the market will be swifter once the country starts to get back to normal.

For advice on buying, selling, or remortgaging a residential or commercial property, speak to Farleys Solicitors on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.