The rollercoaster that is 2020 continues, and our team are riding the waves to continue delivering our wide range of clients with financing solutions, tailored to their individual needs.
The UK housing market has seen levels of activity which no-one would have predicted during a pandemic. In August, the number of completions of residential sales exceeded over 100,000 in a month for the first time this year1 and, between June and September, sales of properties worth over £1 million were 66% higher than during the same period in 2019.2
What does this mean for clients?
The main issue we are seeing is that mortgage applications are taking much longer, and that’s down to several factors. The sheer volume of residential sales means there are more applications for lenders to process and, with large numbers of staff working from home, we are seeing decisions take several weeks longer than pre-COVID.
Added to this, lenders are continually monitoring the market and – for many – that means changing terms and temporarily holding or restricting products. Reviewing products and terms is a time-consuming exercise and diverting resource in that direction only adds to the delay.
The Chancellor’s Stamp Duty Holiday ends on 31st March 20213 which may seem like a comfortable distance. However, in the context of the application times we are seeing – plus the time lost to the December holiday break – this deadline will soon become out of reach for some applicants. In fact, research suggests that an estimated 325,000 buyers with a sale agreed between September 2020 and January 2021 will miss out on the Stamp Duty Holiday.4
If you are coming to the end of an existing mortgage deal, you’re buying a new property or embarking on a development project, you should act now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of friendly and knowledgeable advisers, who can give you a clear and up-to-date appraisal of the market.