Three in five don’t believe they could get mortgage

Ryan Fowler

August 21, 2017

Three in five (60%) people don’t feel that they would be able to get a mortgage, according to a survey from Masthaven Bank.

On top of that half (50%) of homeowners surveyed feel that they would also struggle to get a mortgage. Something which Masthaven believes indicates that some may feel like mortgage prisoners.

Masthaven’s Game of Loans report comprised of two surveys of over 2,000 UK adults, in January and July 2017. It found that almost two in three (65%) people polled believes that getting a mortgage is about ‘box ticking’ not the reality of someone’s situation. This opinion has risen markedly by ten percentage points (from 55%) since the first poll in January.

Jon Hall, managing director of Masthaven, said: “Just as homes have kerb-appeal to buyers, it seems people have a perceived sense of their own mortgage-appeal to lenders.

“Our report highlights how many people believe they have low or no appeal to mortgage lenders; they have little faith in the market. Whether these homeowners’ beliefs are founded or not, the industry cannot ignore how customers feel – their perceptions need attention. I believe the industry can adapt, and we’re publishing the report to encourage lenders to look at the new face of home borrowing: ordinary people with normal lives.

“The UK mortgage industry must create products and processes that are fit-for-purpose for society today – a world that’s rapidly evolved and looks different to even just a few years ago.”

The report found that a large majority (81%) of people surveyed believe lenders should make an effort to understand homebuyers’ individual circumstances. This view is strong among people aged 55 or over (88%), UK homeowners (84%) and parents (82%).

Age is also a contentious issue with nearly three in four (74%) people surveyed said they feel that meeting repayment criteria should determine mortgage eligibility, not age. Moreover, three in five (60%) of those surveyed believes that everyone who can afford the repayments when they retire should be eligible for a mortgage. This view has risen up from 53% since the January poll.

Hall added:  “The audiences examined in our report aren’t niche groups on the fringes of society, they’re growing segments of the population with modern needs that a thriving mortgage market must address. It shouldn’t be ‘game over’ for many homebuyers before they’ve even put a foot on the property ladder.

“As a bank we need to make sure our application of the affordability rules are revisited regularly, to check hard-working householders are not being excluded from the mortgage market. As a specialist lender we put people at the heart of the solution. Manual underwriting drives our decision-making rather than technology, and we work in tandem with brokers to assess customers’ individual needs. I’m concerned to hear so many borrowers feel unsupported when in reality an experienced lender, with flexible processes and great broker partnerships, may be able to help.”

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