This raft of planning was put into practice pretty much overnight as physical valuations were given the green light to proceed – albeit with safety measures and social distancing restrictions firmly in place.
Inevitably, this was the trigger for a number of lenders to spring into action.
Apologies in advance if I miss any lenders off the list below, but it’s important to highlight those who have opened, or reopened, their doors as a result of this important turning point for the mortgage market.
Not to mention the new product ranges on offer.
We’ve seen Aldermore, Bank of Ireland UK, Clydesdale Bank, Fleet Mortgages, Foundation Home Loans, Metro Bank, Paragon, Pepper Money, Platform, Shawbrook, Virgin Money and Zephyr Homeloans announce a resumption of physical mortgage valuations on properties in England.
All stressing the important caveat that this will only happen if the right level of safety measures are in place.
Foundation has also created and launched a range of buy-to-let and residential products.
For BTL, all products are available to individuals and limited company borrowers, with a choice of both two and five-year fixed rates in its F1, F2 and F3 ranges, as well as for both houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) and large HMOs.
Also included are two-year BTL discount products which have no early repayment charges available for F1 and F2 borrowers. These rates start at 2.94 per cent for F1 borrowers at a 60 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.
In other product news, OneSavings Bank (OSB) has introduced a new buy-to-let product range across its three lending brands: Kent Reliance for Intermediaries, Precise Mortgages and InterBay Commercial.
OSB has increased the LTV ratio to 75 per cent, including HMOs of up to six beds and multi-unit freehold blocks for remortgages and for limited companies.
LendInvest, HTB and Accord
LendInvest has updated its range, reintroducing its five-year fixed rate 75 per cent LTV product, which will be available at a rate of 3.99 per cent, with the 70 per cent LTV and 65 per cent LTV versions available at 3.49 per cent and 3.29 per cent respectively.
Hampshire Trust Bank is now accepting desktop valuations for buy-to-let properties with a maximum loan size of £550,000, or £750,000 within London.
This is on the back of a recent increase in LTVs to 75 per cent.
Finally, Accord Buy to Let has also increased the maximum LTV for remortgage customers to 75 per cent and reintroduced house purchase products up to 75 per cent LTV.
Both of these products include a £1,495 product fee, free standard valuation and either £250 cashback or free standard legal services.
For landlords looking towards property purchases, products include a two-year fixed rate at 1.71 per cent at 60 per cent LTV with £950 product fee, and a five-year fixed rate at 1.81 per cent at 60 per cent LTV with £1,495 product fee.
Both of these products include a free standard valuation and £500 cashback.
Patience for pipelines
Catching up with the backlog of pipeline cases will take some time, and we must remain patient, but the return of physical valuations is a hugely positive step in the right direction and has served to reignite the mortgage market.
In addition, many BTL lenders will continue to support this with desktop valuations and AVMs where possible, meaning we can all look forward to the next few weeks with greater levels of optimism.