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One fifth of UK homeowners unable to remortgage due to pandemic

Jake Carter

March 18, 2021

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One fifth (19%) of UK homeowners have been unable to remortgage their home since the pandemic started, according to Comparethemarket.

The impact of the pandemic on employment and financial stability has meant that many households have become ineligible for competitive fixed rate deals, noted the price comparison website.

Almost half (41%) of households unable to remortgage said their application was rejected because they had lost their jobs, and 32% said it was because they had been furloughed.

A quarter (26%) of homeowners thought their application was rejected because of a salary cut.

Households could see their monthly mortgage payments rise by hundreds of pounds each month on an SVR.

In the Budget on 3 March, the government confirmed the launch of a Mortgage Guarantee Scheme for lenders to small deposit holders.

One in five (19%) first-time buyers tried to buy a property however their deal fell through, compared to 14% who successfully bought a home.

When asked why the transaction did not complete, a 23% said their provider reduced their initial loan-to-income offer, 18% said their mortgage provider had increased their initial interest rate, and 18% claimed their mortgage lender asked for a larger deposit than originally required.

The original stamp duty holiday deadline also played a significant role in property transactions falling through, affecting 21% of first-time buyers and 28% of homeowners.

However, as announced in the Budget, the stamp duty holiday has been extended until the end of June with a three month taper, which 65% of first-time buyers and 75% of homeowners believe will benefit them.

Mark Gordon, director of mortgages at comparethemarket, said: “The pandemic does not yet appear to have had the decimating impact on house prices which many initially predicted.

“In fact, three-quarters (75%) of homeowners are confident they will sell their homes at the asking price.

“However, this does not mean that it is easy to get on, or move up, the property ladder.

“Household finances have been put under severe strain this past year and many families have found themselves in a more precarious position when it comes to their jobs and income.

“This can have a direct impact on mortgage repayments – often our largest monthly outgoing – and the ability to buy a property.

“Being unable to remortgage means some households will roll onto a lender’s SVR rate, and, over the years, could lose out on thousands of pounds in higher interest charges.

“If you can’t remortgage with your current lender, it is worth doing some research and seeing if you would be eligible for a fixed rate deal with another lender or speaking with a mortgage broker.”


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