Why Mortgage Lenders are Experiencing Delays

In the current UK property market, there’s an important trend prospective buyers should be aware of: mortgage lenders are experiencing longer processing times for applications. This is a key factor to consider for those looking to make a property purchase soon.

To navigate this landscape effectively, it’s advisable to submit your mortgage application promptly. Securing a mortgage agreement in principle before making a property bid is also a wise move, as it strengthens your position as a buyer.

Insights from Major Lenders:

  • Santander: Currently, it takes approximately 21.3 working days for Santander to process residential mortgage applications. This extended timeframe can be a source of anxiety for prospective buyers.
  • Nationwide: The wait is slightly longer here, with standard residential cases taking around 23 days. Referred cases can take up to a staggering 34 days.
  • NatWest: For purchasing, the timeline stands at 22 days, while remortgage offers are processed in about 21 days.

Buy-to-Let Mortgages: The processing times are even more prolonged for buy-to-let mortgages. This is often due to the additional steps involved, such as surveyors needing access to tenanted properties for valuation purposes. For instance, Santander takes about 26.2 working days for buy-to-let applications, and The Mortgage Works (Nationwide’s buy-to-let division) requires approximately 25 days for standard applications and 34 days for portfolio and limited company applications.

Impact of Covid-19: Like many sectors, the lending industry has been impacted by Covid-19. The pandemic has added complexity to the mortgage application process, partly due to the increased number of borrowers seeking government support and the general uncertainty surrounding employment. Additionally, many businesses, including lenders, have had to operate with reduced staff, further stretching processing times.

Current Market Trends: Despite these challenges, the property market remains buoyant. Factors like the stamp duty holiday have spurred property investments and relocations, though its effect on first-time buyers seems minimal. Post-lockdown, there’s been a surge in market activity, driven by pent-up demand from those whose plans were delayed by the pandemic.

Advice for Prospective Buyers: In light of the slower market, being well-prepared and organised is more crucial than ever. Engaging a mortgage broker, such as Mortgage Knight, well before you start property hunting can provide invaluable guidance on your options and the likelihood of application success. Submitting your mortgage application ahead of others can place you ahead in the queue, reducing the risk of delays derailing your property purchase at a later stage.

In summary, understanding the current mortgage processing times and preparing accordingly can significantly enhance your property buying experience in the UK market.



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