COVID-19 Somerset Mortgage Advisor

The impact of Covid-19 on the Housing Market

Prior to the Covid-19 forced lockdown, we had seen the housing market going from strength to strength, with house prices rising by 0.8% in March according to Nationwide, which was the largest monthly increase since early 2018 and resulted in the prices increasing by 3% compared to March 2019.

If you had your property on the market before lockdown commenced on 20th March 2020, or you had planned to put your property on the market this spring or summer, then you are likely to be questioning whether you should hold off until next year.

The Financial Times state that ’experts predict transactions will fall by 60 per cent or more in the three months to June, with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicting sales to drop to the lowest level seen in 20 years’. With the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government clear guidance to those buying or selling, essentially stating that if you’re in a position to delay the purchase of your property then you should, it is very hard to see anything but a fall.

The bigger question is what will happen going forward when Estate Agents can open again. According to Zoopla the Covid-19 lockdown has put £82 billion of home sales on hold. Since then many people involved in these purchases will likely have been subjected to a reduction in incomes and will be facing the tough decision of whether to proceed or not.

We have never experienced this before as a country, let alone planet! However, as we are all in the same boat here the market is likely to be more understanding that the process may be taking longer than the industry standard.

For many potential buyers, the question is whether you will be able to obtain a mortgage, with many lenders having to make significant changes. Rightmove believe that it will take the following to kick-start the market again once lockdown is eased:

  • Continuation of mortgage lending on the same terms as before the lockdown, aided by government incentives to encourage moving as a key part of the economic recovery.
  • Forbearance by lenders to limit forced sales until employment levels recover.
  • Social distancing measures may still be needed for some time to come, so safe viewing procedures will require innovation by the property industry.

Yes, the mortgage market did have to take significant measures to ensure responsible lending. Nonetheless, we are seeing lenders changing their criteria on a daily basis. More and more lenders are now accepting automated valuation, providing products at higher loan-to-values that allow first time buyers or people with smaller deposits to proceed. Not only this, but lenders are looking forwards with the understanding that a drop in our incomes now does not represent a trend going forwards. With the Bank of England base rate being 0.1%, the lowest ever level recorded in the history of the Bank, we are finding some of the rates are exceptionally low.

Now more than ever it is important to talk to an adviser who can help you understand your options in a rapidly changing market. If you have any questions just get in touch via email or phone. info@windsorhillmortgages.co.uk or 01225 962456.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


COVID-19 Somerset Mortgage Advisor

The potential impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on your mortgage

We are amid the most significant pandemic of many of our lives, and although the focus of the world right now is to fight the spread of coronavirus, many of us are left understandably concerned about the impact on a house move or remortgage and our chance of success.

There is no hiding the fact that there have been significant changes to both the housing market and the mortgage market. As you can imagine lenders like most businesses right now are faced with staff shortages but they are also receiving a high level of enquiries about mortgage payment holidays.

What we have done is run through a number of questions that we are receiving to try and help provide a clearer picture as to the impact that this may have on your chances of getting a mortgage.

Have lenders stopped offering mortgages?

One of the most common questions right now is whether you can still get a mortgage. Some more specialised lenders have temporarily stopped lending, however, there are many lenders still offering mortgage to both new and existing customers.

A large number of lenders have withdrawn deals available to those with smaller deposits, or who have limited equity in their homes if remortgaging. The main reason for this is due to the complications in conducting valuations as many of these will require the surveyor to enter the property, thus breaching the social distancing rules we have in place currently. Some lenders can use desktop valuations (automated or completed from a computer) as opposed to a physical valuation, however, this is less likely to be possible with a smaller amount of equity.

Can I buy a house right now?

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has provided clear guidance to those buying or selling, essentially stating that if you’re in a position to delay the purchase of your property, you should.

There could be times however that there aren’t issues with this, for example, if you are purchasing the property that you are currently living in then there would be no need for you to leave the property in order to do so.

If you have found a new build property that are still accepting offers then there is no reason why you can’t look at starting the process so that you are ahead of the game when we are ready to move. In any of these situations always check your legal obligations. If you need assistance then we can introduce you to solicitors at any point in the process, including the sale of a current property.

The FCA does not regulate solicitors and surveyors.

Can I still remortgage?

Lenders are still offering mortgages to new and existing customers, although as mentioned before, the lower percentage of equity the higher chance that the lender will not be able to complete a desktop valuation.

Windsor Hill Mortgages can advise you on the deals that lenders are offering to their existing customers and compare this against deals available in the wider market so you can be sure that you make the right choice.

Can I get protection against Coronavirus?

With the death toll continuing to increase in the UK more and more people are realising the need for financial support to protect their families. If someone has a life insurance policy and they pass away due to coronavirus, if the claim meets the term and conditions of the policy then the insurer should pay out.

Coronavirus isn’t covered as a critical illness for insurers, however, if you were to have complications from the virus that lead to conditions that are included in your policy - such as kidney, liver, heart or respiratory failure – the claim would be paid, again subject to the policy terms and conditions.

The most suitable policy will always depend on your personal circumstances. If you have any queries or you just want to see if there is a policy suited to you, whether protection is completely new to you or you want to compare to what you currently have in place, then get in touch with us at Windsor Hill Mortgages on 01225 962456 or email info@windsorhillmortgages.co.uk and we will be able to complete a free review for you.

Contact us today for a FEE FREE consultation.


COVID-19 Somerset Mortgage Advisor

First time buyers amid the Covid-19 pandemic

The current expectation is that the housing market is going to take a substantial hit this year, following what was the largest monthly increase in house prices in March since early 2018 according to Nationwide.

Naturally, we can’t say for sure what will happen, however, what we can say is that it is not all doom and gloom if you are looking to buy your first house. If there is a drop in the house prices then it could bring that dream home of yours into a price bracket that works for you. Not only this, but the Bank of England base rate is currently set at 0.1%, the lowest ever recorded in the history of the bank.

Of course, many potential first time buyers may be on furlough currently or may have been impacted financially by Covid-19, on the other hand, you may have been able to work through this, or you may be expected to start again in the not too distant future. Either way, there is a potential opportunity for you to get onto the property ladder.

On our website www.windsorhillmortgages.co.uk on the Mortgages tab, you will see that there is a first time buyers section that can provide you with an idea of what to consider as a first time buyer. There is also one tool in particular on the website that can be particularly helpful called the mortgage calculator. This can give you an idea of not only what your monthly repayment costs could be, but also if there is any stamp duty, and if there is how much this would be. You will have to put an estimated interest rate, so if in doubt use the mortgage finder to get an idea of what rates you could be looking at. Of course, these are just indicative costs, and we would run through the true costs, nevertheless, it can provide you with a much better idea. If in any doubt then all you have to do is get in touch, and we will be more than happy to help you out.

Even if you think that you are nowhere near being able to buy a property don’t let that put you off doing your research, or giving us a call. For the sake of a 15-20 minute conversation, we can run through enough information to give you a realistic expectation in the current market of what you could afford, or even potential steps to take to help prepare you for buying your first home whether it is a couple of days, weeks, months or even years. All you have to do is give us a call on 01225 962456 or send an email to info@windsorhillmortgages.co.uk so that we can book you in for your fee-free consultation.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.