Specialists and smaller mutuals excelling in lockdown lending – Offshore Online

  • 30/04/2020
  • 0
Specialists and smaller mutuals excelling in lockdown lending – Offshore Online
Specialist building societies have adapted well to the coronavirus crisis with near-business as usual results, according to broker firm Offshore Online.


It highlighted that specialist lenders were finding ingenious ways of keeping expat house purchases moving and delivering completions.

Guy Stephenson, director of Offshore Online, praised the reaction by lenders to the unprecedented situation and said deals for his expat customers were still approaching completion.

“The smaller, specialist UK building societies in particular have moved to an effective dispersed working model very quickly and as a result, we are seeing little, if any, delays to questions we have for underwriters,” Stephenson said.

“It is not quite business as usual, but it is certainly more than acceptable.”


Reasonable approaches to completions

Overall, Stephenson noted that lenders had generally taken two approaches in the circumstances, both of which were entirely reasonable.

“Some lenders are moving to a simple desktop valuation model and importantly not charging the customer a valuation fee either,” he continued.

“Typically, this is in cases where the lending represents less than 65 per cent of the property value.

“Other lenders have used a list of specific kinds of property they will allow to move forward, without a physical visit to value.”

The firm added that with the issue of a valuation solved, many deals can then proceed to completion, especially remortgage and non-complex purchases.

But complex cases, which might cover factors such as short leases, are not covered in the schemes.


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