Leeds partners with Countrywide to complete outstanding application valuations
Leeds Building Society has partnered with Countrywide to complete the outstanding remaining valuations of its mortgage applications.
The society was able to progress valuations in almost three-quarters of mortgage applications, despite the pandemic lockdown’s impact on the property market, and began booking appointments for physical valuations on the remainder of cases after the government eased restrictions last week.
The public lockdown effectively suspended the property market in late March, making transaction completions and home moves almost impossible, while social distancing measures meant surveyors were unable to visit properties to carry out valuations for lenders and borrowers.
Jaedon Green, Leeds Building Society’s chief customer officer, said: “We want to ensure the mortgage property market continues to operate smoothly, despite the volume of cases awaiting valuation across the industry.
“All of us are keen to see the housing market return closer to normality as soon as possible but it may take a little time to get used to the new working practices required to ensure buyers, sellers and surveyors stay safe.
“We use local valuers, who work in and are familiar with the local area, and are pleased to have been able to keep any delays to a minimum.
“Desktop valuations will continue to be used where appropriate and, for homeowners particularly concerned about social distancing, we’re also piloting external inspections which mean a valuer will still visit their home but doesn’t need to enter it.”
Matthew Cumber, managing director of Countrywide’s Surveying Services, said the safety of homeowners and valuers was its priority as it works at pace to progress pipeline cases.
“To do this we’re accelerating the activity required to ensure our workplaces are ‘COVID-secure’ and introducing additional measures to assess and mitigate risk,” he said.
“This includes extra support for all our colleagues, such as PPE, to enable them to carry out work in a safe and secure way and offer added reassurance to homeowners.”