The return of physical valuations – great news for the buy to let sector
The return of surveyors and valuers – on the back of the government’s guidance on moving home during the coronavirus crisis provided by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick – is highly positive news for the housing and mortgage markets, not to mention the economy as a whole. For several long weeks, many lenders have not been able to process new mortgage applications because they couldn’t instruct physical valuations. Naturally, this had major repercussions for landlords, homeowners and first-time buyers who were already in the process of, or thinking about, property purchases.
The buy to let market has been waiting patiently for good news and it’s great to see more and more filtering through on a regular basis. In recent days we’ve seen many lenders re-enter the sector with some renewed vigour. These lenders have been working hard behind the scenes to adapt products and criteria to meet new market conditions. Many buy to let lenders have also introduced AVMs and desktop valuations over the past few weeks to service certain buy to let cases. While many lenders have been able to keep writing some business throughout these uncertain times, it’s fair to say that there was a collective sigh of relief around the resumption of physical valuations – as these remain integral in the progression of the majority of buy to let cases.
However, despite this raft of great news, it’s prudent to maintain some degree of perspective. The buy to let market is unlikely to return to pre-Covid-19 conditions any time soon. Challenges do remain and landlords need to carefully plan their future portfolio needs accordingly. Having said that, opportunities always present themselves in times of adversity and this situation is no different. Good, professional advice will prove more valuable than ever in helping a variety of landlords to successfully navigate this tricky period.