Speaking on Mortgage Solutions Television the lender highlighted the importance of being prepared for the surge in completions expected in the coming months.
Paul Fenn, head of business development at Skipton, said: “Planning has got to be key for the next couple of months, particularly around redemption statements and completions.
“Lenders will absolutely look to move their resource to where the risk challenges are, and planning for that activity will be key.
“We hope the significant part of the pipeline is going through to completion now and as we get to the middle and end of February, we are just dealing with the minority.
“But it’s critical and we all plan and we all continue to talk to each other as well, that’s really important – if there are individual cases we need to talk about let’s do it and let’s do it early,” he added.
Specialist lenders struggling
The subject of service levels has been particularly important since the stamp duty holiday was announced with pressure being felt on many areas of the market.
Paradigm Mortgage Services head of mortgages, John Coffield, acknowledged that lender service had slightly improved and those lenders who had been lagging were trying their hardest, but issues still remain.
“We’ve seen some examples, more in the specialist space, where they still seem to be struggling with it,” he said.
“But the signs we are seeing are generally positive and the way we can see that panning out is by, more recently, lenders moving back into the 90 per cent loan to value (LTV) space, because one of the main inhibitors throughout this period for higher LTVs has been capacity.
“So it says to me they are dealing with capacity better and probably once we get to mid-December the purchase side will tail off as people realise the chances of completing before 31 March are not really going to happen,” he added.
Products for key workers
Elsewhere in the discussion Alex Beavis, head of products at Skipton Building Society, said once the stamp duty deadline rush had passed a quieter market would allow for more innovation and competition.
“So there will still be a need to support first-time buyers, particularly with a lack of access to high LTV lending so I expect more lenders to consider things like family mortgages or going back in to the high LTV market proper,” he said.
“If we don’t see a market led solution for high LTV lending, the government seem to be indicating that they are willing to intervene as well – so I think that’s a space we need to watch.
“On criteria side, yes we’ve seen tightening for self-employed, but on the other side of that coin, I think you’ll see lenders looking a bit more closely at occupations and you may see opportunities for people lucky enough to be in more stable forms of employment, particularly first-time buyers.”
He said this could manifest itself in more specific products for people like doctors, nurses and key workers.