Specialist lender Aspen Bridging has become the first UK lender to commit to lending on property values from prior to the COVID-19 lockdown.
All valuation bases will be provided on the special assumption of normal market conditions as prevailed on 1 March 2020, without coronavirus and any associated economic impact.
Aspen Bridging is accepting applications up to £1m net at a maximum 62.5% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) for residential and residential light refurbishing projects.
Flat rates start at 0.89% with terms running from 12 to 14 months, with stepped rates starting at an initial 0.59% up to a maximum of 12 months.
Aspen Bridging has taken this step to counter the pattern of valuers applying blanket 5% to 25% reductions in valuation prices during the pandemic, which in turn creates uncertainty for clients and brokers as to what loan amounts are actually available.
This follows on from the lender’s introduction of desktop valuations to help alleviate the issues caused for the specialist finance industry due to the surveying shutdown.
In addition, all meetings are being undertaken via video calling system FaceTime, and Aspen Bridging’s legal partners have been operating with full remote capacity and pay-out functions.
Jack Coombs, director at Aspen Bridging, said: “By taking the value of a property on March 1st 2020 we have created market-leading leverage for every single application, and in turn generated a transparent, easy-to-understand offering.
“In today’s market, based on desktop valuation bridging we control our risk with a 62.5% LTV limit, which still represents one of the leading figures.
“Lenders who are low geared or equity funded like us will continue to reliably operate and offer brokers and customers a credible lending service, and we will continue to introduce innovative ideas to deliver on our promises.”