Coronavirus – Expats are asking, can I still apply for a mortgage?

Definitely yes! One big difference between the challenges of 2020 and the economic turbulence of 2008’s credit crunch is that there is no issue with the liquidity for banks and building societies.

They have the means and the willingness to lend. However, what we are seeing are disparities with how each lender responds to the current situation.

Some lenders have been impacted from a service perspective more than others due to staff shortages.

We are seeing these lenders have to withdraw some mortgage products, or to cap loan to values (the percentage of the property value they will lend as a mortgage against the property) to limit and manage the amount of business they attract, in order to give themselves breathing space.

For example, in recent days some major lenders have temporarily introduced a maximum loan to value of 60% whilst they manage service levels.

What about a valuation?

Physical valuations have been put on hold during this period of self-isolation. This means that valuations are currently deferred for an initial period of around four weeks.

However, this does not mean you should hold off applying for your mortgage. By submitting the application you are locking in the mortgage rate offered with most lenders, which with current fluctuations is worthwhile to secure a low rate on your mortgage.

You can also get the majority of the paperwork and processing done, so that just the valuation will be required.

Also, some lenders will look to do a valuation on a desktop, or automated basis using data and knowledge of the location.

Where these are applicable, and on re-mortgages these are quite common, applications are processing to mortgage offer as normal. A broker can help guide you on which lenders offer these types of valuations.

Need assistance?

Our professional independent advisers are used to dealing with all types mortgages, they have vast experience in the expat mortgage market.