The Financial Times reported that in a correspondence to lenders, UK Finance said it has been seeking “urgent clarification from the government about whether home purchases should continue at the current time, particularly as physical property valuations are no longer possible.”
In the note, the trade body said government had now advised that home buyers and renters should delay their move while the coronavirus emergency measures were in place to only leave home under specific circumstances.
In a series of tweets, secretary of state for housing Robert Jenrick acknowledged that many people were asking what to do if they were moving house at this time.
“Buyers and renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new house while emergency measures are in place,” he said.
“If you’re socially isolating or being shielded, it’s important to try to delay. Other parties should show pragmatism.
“If moving is unavoidable because you’re contracted and the parties aren’t able to agree a delay, you must follow advice on social distancing when moving,” he added.
Valuations a major problem
Major banks have already cancelled physical valuations and where possible are relying on desktop valuations.
And this week, several lenders have withdrawn hundreds of mortgage products from sale.
Lloyds Banking Group has stopped new broker lending about sixty per cent loan to value, and Barclays withdrew new lending for borrowers with less than a 40 per cent deposit the day before.
Mortgage Solutions has approached UK Finance for comment. It did not comment on the FT’s report.