Mortgage lenders temporarily restrict products on offer

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Mortgage lenders are temporarily restricting the products on offer as the impact of coronavirus hits the market.

Borrowers who have lower deposits saved may find themselves particularly affected.

Lloyds Banking Group has temporarily withdrawn new mortgage and re-mortgage products with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of over 60% across its broker channels – Halifax Intermediaries, Scottish Widows Bank and BM Solutions.

It said customers can still apply for a mortgage directly online as normal with Halifax and Lloyds Bank.

Product transfer and further advance products remain unchanged and customers with existing mortgage offers have been granted an additional three months to complete their home purchase or re-mortgage at the agreed mortgage rate.

A statement from Barclays said: “Regrettably it has been necessary to withdraw a further selection of products across our residential and buy-to-let ranges.

“This action has been taken to support us in managing the flow of applications into our UK underwriting teams following the closure of our key offshore sites.

“At the same time it enables our colleagues to provide greater help to those customers requesting mortgage payment holiday arrangements for financial support.”

The Barclays statement added: “We expect to launch a fresh range of residential and buy-to-let products shortly and we apologise for any inconvenience this causes in the interim.”

Mortgage lenders have already pledged to offer three-month payment holidays to borrowers suffering financial hardship due to coronavirus.

A report released by Zoopla on Thursday predicts that house sales volumes could plunge by as much as 60% over the next three months, compared with the second quarter of 2019, as the market reacts to the impact of Covid-19.

But, while property sales are expected to see a sharp drop-off, Zoopla said house prices are not expected to change materially in the next month or two.

Meanwhile, online buy-to-let mortgage broker Property Master warned that landlords generally may face a tougher struggle to get mortgages.

Angus Stewart, Property Master’s chief executive, said: “Landlords are finding that their borrowing options are being drastically reduced.”

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