On the positive news, for those in the property industry, the house buying and selling process can continue. Removals and valuers can carry on as usual if social distancing rules are maintained.
Mortgage availability from lenders is very important and from current lender behaviours, this looks likely to continue to be a key of the market for some time, most probably until the end of the stamp duty holiday in March 2021.
The main problem is that mortgage lenders have had a continual struggle with capacity and, given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home, away from colleagues and fast internet has been very tricky for many lenders, especially when the market has been pumped up by the sudden closing and opening of the market in the form of the Stamp Duty holiday.
Because of this, some lenders have decided to reduce the number of products available and to increase their rates to manage the number of applications they receive.
Sadly, for many first-time buyers, the higher Loan-to-value products have been the casualty of this as lenders also mull over the potential risks to the economy caused by the end of furlough and other measures.
It can be concerning that now nearly a year into the pandemic, we are seeing lenders still struggle and some experiencing severe service issues that lead to culling products even for those with high deposits.
Knowing which lenders are able to move quicker than others, especially with buyers looking to complete within the Stamp Duty time limit, is an important part of our business and could make the difference between completing a sale or breaking down.
Best Mortgage Rates
In terms of mortgage rates, for standard residential mortgages, borrowers can obtain 2-year fixes at 1.20%, (3.30% APRC) and 5-year fixes from 1.43%, (2.90% APRC) whilst variable tracker rates are around from 1.69%, (3.40% APRC).