The Disappearing Mortgage

Mortgage wait times have soared.

Before the pandemic it took two weeks to get a mortgage offer. It is now taking up to six weeks, much to the frustration of potential homebuyers and brokers. We can of course blame Covid, the go-to excuse for 2020, and partly it has been brought about by increased home working and the desire for more space, but the main reason is simply that buyers are keen to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, hence demand has surged.

Can the lenders do anything more to speed it up?

Well, yes. There are few things which could be reviewed in order to better handle the situation:

• Make it less of a national box ticking exercise and take more of a personal approach when looking at the buyer’s financial situation.

• Assign more case managers to help guide buyers through the application process.

• Have an underwriter check the initial application to make sure the required documents are all there and in order, reducing the risk of delays at a later stage.

• If the lender is unable to process the application within a reasonable timeframe, they should perhaps restrict lending or be extremely clear with the borrower in the first instance. The borrower can then make a decision call as to whether to proceed or look for another lender and not risk losing their home.

In short, the lenders need to up their game. From the borrower’s side, get your credit report in shape and prepare well before applying and hopefully you will sail through with no errors.

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