Life in lockdown: the new Newbury

Issues concerning Covid-19 are not going to dissipate anytime soon with many industries evolving to meet the new world we have found ourselves in. 

The mortgage market is no different as the government’s social distancing regulations and lockdown restrictions forced the industry to change. 

Instead of burying our head in the sand, we quickly adapted our lending criteria to ensure you get the same delivery standard you have come to expect from us.  

We call this, the new Newbury: 

Maintained 95% LTV lending on Shared Ownership 

No matter what is going on in the world, your clients shouldn’t be hampered in fulfilling their homeownership ambition through Shared Ownership.  

We can expect sales of all new homes to be difficult to secure over the upcoming weeks and possibly months. Therefore, we have worked closely with housing associations to determine alternative ways to drive forward Shared Ownership sales to avoid the risk of empty homes and unsatisfied borrowers. 

As a result, unlike other lenders, we decided to keep our mortgage products as accessible as possible by continuing to lend to 95% of the share being purchased.  

Desktop valuations and AVMs 

Property website Zoopla recently reported that hundreds of thousands of property transactions have been put on hold - roughly 373,000 property transactions with a total value of £82bn since lockdown started.  

One reason for this is that due to social distancing guidelines, homes cannot be valued in person – a fundamental first step in the home-selling process. 

Considering this, we made the decision to accept desktop valuations on some of our mortgage products to reduce the bottleneck caused by the loss of physical valuations.  

Let’s consider Shared Ownership; moving forward we now consider desktop valuations on new build houses in our operating area. You can find terms and conditions and our core lending area HERE. We hope this flexible and accessible approach provides you with the tools you need, at the right time, to help your client’s move forward with their property purchase.  

Desktop valuations are not, however, limited to just Shared Ownership. We also consider standard residential new build houses up to 60% LTV on a case-by-case basis in our core operating area.  

In the same breath, we are delighted to accept AVMs on a temporary basis on purchase, remortgage and buy-to-let cases up to 60% LTV and to a maximum property value of £750,000. Once again, this is available on houses only and in our core lending area.   

Key workers and furlough income 

Our key workers have been instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the running of the country and we understand the anxiety non-traditional forms of income can cause. Likewise, we are sympathetic to much of the workforce who have been placed on the government’s furlough scheme in which they will receive 80% of their earnings until the end of October.  

Be assured: our experience in and approach to common-sense and manual underwriting, understanding unique financial situations and our experienced team puts us in an excellent position to assist your clients with varying pay structures and, at times, additional income overtime allowances.  

As ever, our lending decisions continue to be made by people, not computers. Never assume your client simply ‘wouldn’t fit’; make sure you ask us first and we’ll do everything we can to help.  

How we communicate with you 

We may not be able to meet in person, but that doesn’t stop us communicating with you virtually. From one-to-one video calls to group conferencing, we remain on hand to assist you with any mortgage cases and questions you have.  

So, if you’re having a business meeting, invite us along! Or if you simply want to find out more about us and our lending criteria over a virtual tea break, we’re more than happy to oblige.   

We’re proud our Helpdesk continues to work hard to provide you with the service you have come to expect from us – and with great success. Don’t just take our word for it…  

''The efficiency was awesome, and their customer service was also great. Not much to complain about really.'' – Smart Money People broker review, April 2020 

“Despite difficult times currently the service was prompt and efficient.” – Smart Money People broker review, April 2020 

“Very affable lender. Flexible and with a personal touch. The staff are all top-quality people and the culture of a caring and responsible lender shows. I am a big fan of Newbury.” – Smart Money People broker review, April 2020 

We’re doing our best to keep your client's mortgage applications moving along as quickly as possible. Our BDMs are still contactable via telephone, video call and email, and our underwriting team are still processing cases as efficiently as they always have.  

In other words: it’s business as usual. 

*accurate as of May 2020

Karen Smith Head of Intermediary Sales

Karen leads the Intermediary Sales Team, responsible for introduced mortgage sales.

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