Industry panel pins blame on mortgage firms for super-slow sales progression

An industry webinar, organised by TM Group, reveals how lenders and surveyors are struggling to cope with the huge demand.

tm group sales progression

Mortgage approval delays are the key reason why many estate agents are experiencing difficulties and longer lead times with their sales progression an industry panel has claimed.

Made during a webinar attended by estate agents, brokers and conveyancers, the comment came as they explores the issues facing today’s housing market.

The panellists claimed that the big lenders are receiving 1,500 mortgage applications a day but can only process 500, and that getting an offer is now taking up to 18 days rather than the usual five to ten days.

“Lenders are also doing more manual assessments to counteract the increased risk of lending to people who are self-employed and currently on furlough, so that’s also adding to the delays,” said Greg Cunnington, Director of Lender Relationships and New Homes at Alexander Hall.

Sales progression

Part of this problem is that surveyors are also struggling to keep up with demand for mortgage valuations.

Joe Arnold of Arnold & Baldwin Chartered Surveyors said: “We’re experiencing capacity issues with managing this new, heavy workload. “We’ve brought everyone back from furlough and it’s still not quite enough, but we’re reluctant to take on new people as we just don’t know what’s around the corner.

“Unfortunately, it’s created a backlog of work, as where we only used to require 2-3 days’ notice to go out and do a mortgage valuation or survey, there’s now a three week wait.”

The online TM Group organised panel (watch here), which was chaired by Emma Vigus, CEO of Mio, also laid down some rules for agents to enable sales to progress quickly.

These included only allowing those with a mortgage decision in principle to do viewings; asking buyers and sellers to have a conveyancer lined up much earlier in the process; and ensuring AML and title checks are completed much earlier in the process.

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