Welcome news for the property market as lenders kick-start mortgage deals.

Welcome news for the property market as lenders kick-start mortgage deals.

Welcome news as a number of big lenders kick-start mortgage deals.

At the start of the coronavirus lockdown, several mortgage lenders scrapped deals or only offered loans to those with large deposits.

But there has been welcome news this week as Nationwide, Halifax, Virgin and Santander all made it easier for people to qualify for a loan.

Nationwide resumed loans at 85% loan-to-value (LTV) on Wednesday, while Halifax raised its LTV level from 80% to 85%.

Meanwhile, this week Virgin Money began offering purchase mortgages again, as Santander increased its maximum loan size – from £300,000 to £500,000 – and cut fees on its residential mortgages.

At the start of the lockdown, lenders were forced to reassess their deals in the light of the new restrictions.

For instance, Nationwide, the UK’s biggest building society, stopped offering deals above 75% loan-to-value to new customers at the end of March to “focus on supporting existing mortgage members, while continuing to process ongoing applications”.

“Lenders had to work out how they were going to continue trading while their mortgage processing centres were being scaled back and staff were working from home,” explained Aaron Strutt, product director at Trinity Financial.

“As the general public is getting used to life under extended lockdown, so too are lenders,” said Chris Sykes, mortgage consultant at broker Private Finance.

Lenders returning this last week “is great news for the market and for borrowers who will have increased choice going forward,” he added.

“It also means the post-lockdown recovery should be swifter when some semblance of normality returns.”

According to SPF’s chief executive Mark Harris, lenders have found ways to deal with some of the problems and “there is a willingness to lend”.

“Problems have mostly centred around staff resources, handling the surge in mortgage payment holidays and those staff self-isolating who have children and no childcare,” he said.

You can read the full article on the BBC website.

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