There’s another warning today that buy to let landlords wanting to expand their portfolio are in a race against time to seal the deal before the stamp duty holiday ends in March.
Buy to let broker Property Master is the latest to warn that delays throughout the property purchase chain are making it unpredictable to say when a completion can occur.
Angus Stewart, the broker’s chief executive of Property Master, says lenders are hiking their mortgage charges because of the worsening economic landscape while delays are the order of the day.
“There are severe delays generally with lenders sometimes taking weeks to respond to enquiries. There is a similar story with many solicitors. We have to remember with employees working from home and in some cases self-isolating the property market generally is struggling to keep up with demand” he says.
Stewart cites a series of delays he has encountered including a lender increasing their underwriting time from five days to three weeks and suspending their telephone lines, and another having an average ‘on hold’ time of over 40 minutes.
One lender is now taking at least three days to respond to enquiries whilst others are yet to respond to emails and chasers sent over two weeks ago, he says.
And another lender is taking 10 days for a case to be looked at by an underwriter, while some solicitors have stated searches are taking two weeks longer than usual.
“More worryingly still we are seeing is valuers undervaluing properties and, in some instances, returning a £0 valuation on properties that we would not have expected to present a problem. We have even seen this happen on properties that we know would have been acceptable to the lender but when we've stepped in and challenged the valuer’s decision the lender has been unwilling to overturn what the valuer has said” claims Stewart.
It is thought this may apply to some leasehold properties with controversial cladding, which has been considered dangerous since the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
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