The bank told Mortgage Solutions by using a combination of automated valuation models (AVM) and desktop valuations it has been able to take the majority of applications, that had not been valued in person before the restrictions came into force, through to mortgage offer.
Due to the limits placed on physical valuations to tackle the spread of Covid 19, on 25 March Santander halted in-person surveys. Two days later it, like many other lenders, Santander restricted its lending. The bank would only accept new mortgage applications for residential purchases and remortgages up to a maximum loan to value of 75 per cent.
But during that time, the bank says it was able to move close to three quarters of the applications it received through to offer without the need for a surveyor to visit a property in person.
Santander increased its LTV back up to 85 per cent LTV on Monday, marking the beginning of a week of good news for mortgage brokers, as the government gave the housing market the green light to reopen.
Physical valuations, house viewings and show home visits can all resume carried out under social distancing measures and construction sites, new build sales offices and estate agencies were allowed to reopen.
But Santander does not plan to ditch its policy of relying more on remote valuations than it has done in the past. The bank said it expects the AVM success on remortgages to be the same between 75 to 85 per cent LTV as on the lower LTV brackets.
However, the bank has already begun contacting mortgage brokers to let them know it is now booking in physical valuations for the applications it has been unable to progress.