The lender is taking the measures to ensure existing applications for it and its buy-to-let brand The Mortgage Works (TMW) can continue to be progressed.
The moves follow restrictions put in place by the government this week to tackle the coronavirus outbreak which have stopped almost all in-person valuations and urged people not to move home.
If a customer’s mortgage offer is within 30 days of expiry and needs an extension due to the current situation, Nationwide said it will extend it by three months.
These extensions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and after confirming there are no other material changes to the customer’s situation.
“Customers should only request an extension within 30 days of expiry,” the lender said.
“They can do that by contacting their mortgage adviser or by going via the coronavirus support pages on Nationwide and TMW’s websites.
“This is to ensure that the most urgent cases can be dealt with efficiently given the high volume of requests for support that the society is currently receiving,” it added.
Limits on in-person valuations have resulted in many lenders withdrawing either fully or party from the market, with maximum loan-to-values allowed often cut down.
Nationwide said that as valuers are unable to carry out physical mortgage valuations it is using alternative methods, such as via automated valuation model (AVM) and remote desktop, to carry out as many valuations as possible and ensure ongoing applications can continue to be progressed.
If a valuation cannot be completed via either of these alternative methods, Nationwide and TMW will contact either the customer or broker to confirm that the valuation has been placed on hold until government advice allows physical valuations to be resumed.
A notice on the lender’s website highlighted that examples where desktop valuations may not be possible included:
- Some blocks of flats
- New build sites it has not previously visited
- Cases where a Homebuyer or Full Building Survey is requested
- Properties in Northern Ireland
Nationwide director of mortgages Henry Jordan (pictured) said he understood how much stress and uncertainty those either moving to a new house or into their first home are currently facing, especially if they encountered an unexpected delay.
“We continue to work hard with our valuation and conveyancing partners to progress all ongoing applications as quickly as possible,” he said.
“With this latest announcement, we hope to provide reassurance to homebuyers that they will not lose out if there is a delay in their house move because of the impact of coronavirus.
“We continue to monitor for any updates to government advice and, in this ever-evolving situation, while we continue to progress applications, we ask members and brokers to bear with us and thank them for their patience during these unprecedented times.”
Mortgage Solutions asked Nationwide for more details around the process and restrictions for borrowers and brokers.