Mortgage delays are putting sales at risk

Henry Knight, managing director of London-based broker Springtide Capital, said his clients were “shocked” at how much the mortgage application process had changed in the past six years.

Waiting times on mortgage applications have lengthened by a full working week since 2007, rising from 10 to 15 working days.

This delay was putting the whole transaction chain at risk, Mr Knight warned, as lenders “forensically” examined all income and expenditure.

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He said: “Increasing numbers of our clients have been shocked by the extent of changes to the mortgage application process in the past six years. Many have reported that they are finding the process much more challenging and time-consuming than in previous years.

“This trend is largely attributed to regulatory change and the fact that lenders are now being far more diligent.”

Mr Knight is urging consumers to get their documentation up to date, paying particular attention to their passport, proof of address, payslips showing any bonuses and SA302 forms if they are self-employed.

Adviser view

Martin Stewart, director of London-based mortgage broker, London Money, said the Mortgage Market Review may also “throw a stick in the spokes of the market”, prompting more people to buy or remortgage ahead of time, which could add to a logjam.