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Rapid lender changes disproved talk of ‘market freeze’ – Knowledge Bank

by: Nicola Firth, chief executive of Knowledge Bank
  • 01/06/2020
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Rapid lender changes disproved talk of ‘market freeze’ – Knowledge Bank
It’s not easy to draw firm conclusions from analysing the criteria searches brokers have conducted over the last few months.


Thanks to Covid-19 it’s not easy to see where the market will head next, assuming we can all resume something like normal duty in the next few months.

Back in February, the market was picking up nicely after a long period of uncertainty and 2020 was set fair.

Sure, there were still hundreds of lender criteria changing on a daily basis, then all of a sudden, boom.

We all knew the coronavirus was coming but it wasn’t until it became a full-blown reality that we appreciated the scale of the impact it would have.

There’s been plenty of talk about a ‘freeze’ in the market – but I’ve spent winters in Barnsley and let me tell you, this is not what a freeze looks like. The market has been in constant change.

Already by the end of March, ‘Covid-19 Mortgage Payment Holidays’ was Knowledge Bank’s most searched for criteria term in the residential section.


LTVs and valuations

By the time we got to the end of April, this had been supplanted at the top of both the residential and buy-to-let charts by ‘temporary maximum loan to value restrictions’ and ‘internal/automated valuation model/desktop valuations’.

In the residential market, these were joined by searches for ‘furloughed workers’ – a word that many of us had probably never heard before.

Are there any clues in this as to where the market might land as we start to emerge blinking back into the light?

It’s hard to imagine that everything will just pick up where we left off two very long months ago, but at the same time, there are encouraging signs that market activity is returning rapidly.

People have had enough of having their lives put on hold.

It’s time for some cautious optimism that the worst is over – and that the recovery we all hope for is just around the corner.

In the meantime, expect to see even more rapid change than usual. Optimism is important, but preparation is key.


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