Expat lenders react to keep expat mortgage deal flowing during COVID-19 crisis
Just one month after the UK government effectively put large parts of the UK property market into a form of hibernation, evidence is emerging that many specialist UK lenders offering mortgages for expats are finding ingenious ways of keeping expat house purchases moving and delivering completions.
With much of the country in lockdown, viewings and valuations of properties have inevitably become problematic. But for some buyers, deals are proceeding through to completion.
“We have seen banks react in one of two ways, both reasonable in the circumstances,” said Guy Stephenson, a director of expat mortgage brokers Offshoreonline.org. “Some lenders are moving to a simple desktop valuation model and importantly not charging the customer a valuation fee either. Typically, this is in cases where the lending represents less than 65% 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.”
With the issue of a valuation solved, many deals can proceed to completion, especially remortgage and non-complex purchases. Complex cases which might cover factors such as short leases are not covered in the schemes.
Stephenson ends, “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. It is not quite business as usual, but it is certainly more than acceptable.”
Following the most recent UK Base Rate reduction, expat buy to let mortgage deals are now available from 2.49%.