"As a specialist distributor, we are used to solving problems and handling tricky cases, although this has been more evident than ever during this transitional lending phase."
There’s no getting away from the fact that lenders have had a tough time in recent weeks. Like all firms, they’ve had to restructure their workforce, deal with a multitude of market forces way beyond their control and struggled to cope with what was a whirlwind of events.
Could they have been better prepared? There’s an argument that some could. But then again, I’m sure we’re all guilty of not planning sufficiently for the very worst-case scenarios, and events over the past couple of months are certainly up there in the higher echelons of this bracket.
The severity of the pandemic came on the back of a housing and mortgage market which had experienced a very bright start to the year with strong activity levels across the board. This meant that when lockdown came into full force, a large number of transactions – which were at various stages of the process – were hit by Covid-19 implications and/or lending restrictions.
It’s prudent to say that the vast majority of lenders have coped admirably amidst some highly challenging trading conditions. Generally speaking, the ones which have been forced to temporarily close their doors to new lending have had very good reason to do so. Although some cases have fallen down the cracks and a small minority of lenders have not handled pipeline cases in the right manner.
As a specialist distributor, we are used to solving problems and handling tricky cases, although this has been more evident than ever during this transitional lending phase. In a time when more lenders are having to say no, specialist distributors have to be fully aware of which ones can still say yes.
We recently created a specialist lending Covid-19 quick reference guide to show who is lending to who, their latest product updates, details regarding mortgage payment holidays and full disclosure around their valuation offerings. This remained a short document for a while! But it has quickly grown as lenders have found ways to get around the lack of physical valuations, via AVMs and desktop valuations, and have an appetite to lend. This will also increase further as we see more lenders return with product offerings following the ease of lockdown restrictions, allowing surveyors to visit properties and will especially assist the more complex property transactions that may have ground to a halt some eight weeks ago. The road to some sort of new ‘normality’ begins. Although we all realise this is one very very long road.
Business is being done and responsible solutions remain available for a variety of client needs. The doors of more and more lenders are slowly opening to certain types of business and whilst some are still saying no, a good specialist distribution partner can help turn these nos into a resounding yes.