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Pure Retirement and L&G introduce desktop valuations and limits for equity release

  • 08/04/2020
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Pure Retirement and L&G introduce desktop valuations and limits for equity release
Equity release lenders Pure Retirement and Legal & General Home Finance have introduced desktop valuations and limited their criteria to address the coronavirus crisis restrictions.


Pure Retirement

Pure Retirement has introduced desktop valuations to its Heritage and Sovereign ranges, with the lender saying from today the majority of its lifetime mortgage products are now accessible.

Loan to values (LTV) are limited to a maximum of 49.5 per cent on its Heritage range and can be applied for on traditional construction properties valued between £100,000 and £750,000, and up to £1m inside the M25.

Sovereign products have a maximum 34.4 per cent LTV on properties valued between £70,000 and £750,000 around the country and up to £1m within the M25.

For both product ranges, flats and properties in proximity to commercial premises will be considered although conditions will apply.

The products were previously available at maximum LTVs of 55 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.

The lender emphasised that it was open to business right through to completion, and its face-to-face legal requirements had been adapted in line with the changes made by the Equity Release Council.

Head of intermediary sales Chris Flowers (pictured) said the business had risen to the recent challenges, adapting to the unique and unprecedented circumstances faced in the industry.

“Our teams have worked hard to find solutions to the recent problems faced by all, and their solid efforts have once more produced effective solutions for advisers and their customers,” he said.

“It’s enabled us to not only continue operating as close to normal as possible, but in a manner that’s streamlined, secure, and which simultaneously considers the safety of our workforce and the ever-important needs of our customers.”


Legal & General

L&G Home Finance has also introduced desktop valuations, doing so for all its lifetime mortgage products.

However, it is reducing the estimated value of a property by five per cent to accommodate potentially less information and is asking brokers to factor that into client property value estimates.

In its guidance to brokers the lender said: “A desktop valuation may provide us with less information than if the valuer was able to visit your client’s home.

“For this reason, we will use 95 per cent of the desktop valuation when we calculate the amount we can lend.

“To support this, you should temporarily change the way you estimate a client’s property value, by reducing their estimate by five per cent when you submit an application. For example if a property is estimated at £200,000 then you should base the product selection and application on £190,000.”

There are also further exclusions which include properties valued above £2m, new build properties up to two years old or being occupied for the first time and flats.

Purchase applications will also not be accepted following government guidelines.

Maximum LTVs vary by product and term, but the lender’s highest is now 63.9 per cent on a 25-year term on its income lifetime mortgage products.

For optional payment and flexible products the highest LTV is 53.5 per cent.

If a desktop valuation is not returned, the lender said it would close the case from the pipeline but will stay in touch with all advisers and once restrictions are lifted, it will re-consider the application.

It added that to cover itself without an in-person valuation it would not understand the state of the property until the restrictions are lifted.

As a result, clients will be required to sign a declaration at offer stage to declare they are not aware of any issues that may affect the valuation and there are no essential repairs required to their property.


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