Coronavirus  

Brokers upbeat in face of third lockdown

“We’re in a stronger position than we were in spring 2020 since this lockdown doesn’t involve as many restrictions on the property market and we’ve had almost a full year to adjust and refine our processes.”

Paul Brett, managing director for intermediaries at buy-to-let lender Landbay, agreed the market would be much less affected by the latest national lockdown compared to the first, with surveyors still able to value properties and the housing market remaining open.

Mr Brett added that with the incentive of the stamp duty holiday, the lender had already experienced an “incredibly busy” start to the year, as demand from landlords and property investors remained high.

He continued: “At Landbay therefore, it is business as usual and this latest lockdown is not having any effect on our lending.

“The LTVs on our buy-to-let range remain at 80 per cent and our rates are the same. If anything we are looking at ways to loosen criteria rather than tightening it.”

Likewise Reece Beddall, head of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, said despite the third lockdown, its appetite to lend and approach to lending had not changed.

Mr Beddall also said that Bluestone was not planning any changes to its product offering or lending criteria as a result of the new lockdown.

Calls for stamp duty holiday extension

While government guidance states the public can still move home and attend property viewings during the current lockdown in England, the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) warned it would “undoubtedly” cause disruption for some buyers.

Calls for the stamp duty holiday to be extended beyond March followed the announcement of the lockdown, which is expected to last until mid-February.

George Franks, co-founder of estate agents Radstock Property, said: “In theory, it’s business as usual for the property market but in practice that’s simply not the case.

“Transactions are already under a lot of time pressure and the new lockdown will compound the issue, as people work from home or fall ill with the new strain.”

According to Mr Franks, extending the deadline by at least another month to reflect the new national lockdown seemed like the “right thing to do” in the current circumstances.

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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