This option is available for purchase and remortgage, meaning the society can now progress mortgage applications at an increased loan to value (LTV) of 75 per cent for residential mortgages, and 70 per cent for buy to let.
At the end of March, the society curbed the use of automated valuations to 65 per cent LTV for residential remortgages and 65 per cent LTV on buy to let.
The remote valuations will be carried out by the society’s valuer, Gateway, and include an online questionnaire to be completed by the occupier, as well as photo or video uploads to support the property research undertaken by the valuer.
Borrowers will be offered the zero contact service to progress cases through to completion without breaching lockdown rules. However, applicants can still choose a standard valuation if they prefer a physical inspection.
Paul Lewis (pictured), national development manager, said: “By accepting the new zero contact valuations, we can progress applications more quickly for those borrowers who are willing to accept this type of property assessment.
“We’re keen to ensure that we’re supporting the mortgage market as much as possible, so we’ve taken these proactive steps to provide a viable mortgage solution for borrowers wanting to purchase, remortgage or invest now.”
Teachers BS introduces digital valuations
Teachers Building Society has launched a digital mortgage valuation service to enable mortgage applications to be processed as usual during the pandemic.
The society has partnered with Legal & General Surveying Services to launch the service which will see surveyors value properties by remotely assessing relevant data and searches.
Although Teachers is still offering its full range of mortgages, digital valuations are only available on purchases with a maximum loan size of £750,000 and a maximum purchase price of £1.5m.
For properties valued at up to £1m, digital valuations will not be available above 80 per cent LTV. This will be brought down to 60 per cent LTV for properties valued between £1m and £1.5m.
Digital valuations will not be available on new build properties or buy-to-let purchases. The society said the remainder of cases will be fully underwritten and put on hold until a physical valuation can be carried out.
Keith Hannibal, head of lending at Teachers Building Society, said: “Many of our customers plans to buy a new home are unaffected by the current crisis.
“Some had begun the buying process before the pandemic started, while others are now progressing the purchase of homes they viewed before the country entered lockdown.
“We’re also receiving enquiries from borrowers who are keen to review and understand their financial options now, so they are ready to proceed with a purchase in the coming weeks.”
He added: “We’re committed to ensuring that all customers can progress their plans without delays resulting from the current climate. We hope the launch of the new service provides reassurance to them that they can still borrow from us and move home as planned.”