A New Lending Market Landscape: What Should Borrowers Do?

Counting property prices

Lenders, as a whole, are still digesting the effects of recent events. Sharp drops in interest rates to levels they’ve never seen before; requests for payment holidays; the suspension of physical valuations; and general staff shortages have all taken their toll on the industry. It’s fair to say that some have responded better than others.

Interest rates on specific products have seen minor changes, but there have been dramatic withdrawals of product ranges and restrictions on Loan to Value (LTV) lending to protect service levels and deal with the lack of physical valuations. Payment holiday requests are at record levels with Halifax seeing 70,000 in the first few days of lockdown.

Policy changes by lenders have had to be rushed through to deal with the unique situation that furlough of staff has presented. On purchases they should offer based on any furloughed job, but they will want confirmation before drawdown that nothing has materially altered, namely the potential borrower still has a job, and the same would apply to remortgages. It’s a black and white scenario and all lenders should be supporting firms and individuals, however, both lenders and mortgage advisers have a duty to protect potential borrowers, so everyone is confident in future job prospects before entering into their biggest financial commitment.

If you are considering a remortgages or even a purchase, in whatever circumstances, you should begin the process quickly. This is because lenders are both repricing all their deals and coming under increased pressure on processing as they clear their administration centres in response to the government’s recent directives on a near total lockdown. In addition, all lenders have taken their surveyors off the road indefinitely.

However, there is some good news

Not only can your adviser steer you through the complex number of alternatives available, they are in a unique position to advise you on the service levels at all the major lenders and which lenders will not require a physical valuation – dramatically cutting the time it takes from application to offer.

Under normal circumstances your adviser is there to provide you with the best solution for your circumstances, often the cheapest rate, however, we are far from normal circumstances and the choices are now subject to a much wider set of criteria.

Acting quickly to secure a rate, choosing a lender that will be more flexible than another, or one who may have limited funds on special deals and even choosing a Solicitor who has the systems to act with speed are crucial factors. So, the message again is keep in touch.

Alternatively, your adviser may suggest taking advantage of an internal ‘product transfer’ which your current lender may have to offer. This comes without the need for any form of valuation and therefore is normally available as soon as, or even before, your current mortgage product ends. Your adviser is here to take you through that process quickly and efficiently.

Lastly, we appreciate that these are times of uncertainty so, whether you want to review your current mortgage, are looking to raise extra funds, or even if you are looking to fund a new purchase, please contact your adviser.


Of course, you know this, but it never hurts to remind you that:


We should also remind you that if you have an interest-only mortgage please make sure you have a suitable and viable method to repay your mortgage at the end of the term. And some of the products contained in this newsletter are non-regulated, such as Buy to Let mortgages and, accordingly, the protection that is normally afforded on regulated products do not apply.

A W S Financial Services is a trading style of Mortgage Force (UK) Ltd which who are directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Their FCA number is: 843041.Mortgage Force (UK) Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 09394027A W S Financial Services is a trading style of Mortgage Force (UK) Ltd which who are directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Their FCA number is: 843041. Mortgage Force (UK) Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 09394027

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