by Robin Kellock, local independent mortgage adviser
Obviously, times have changed quite dramatically over the last 6 months in the mortgage world.
There are mixed emotions at the moment and a buoyant property market since Estate Agents were allowed to fully trade again in May.
The North Yorkshire area has been particularly popular with many sales in recent weeks to buyers from London, who are now looking at working from home permanently, and can benefit from much more property and land for their money and the fantastic work-life balance our area has to offer. There has also been high demand from investors looking for buy to let mortgages and holiday lets. A combination of these additional buyers along with local first-time buyers and normal home-movers has really caused a mini-boom in the Ryedale area.
However, the whole process of buying a property has dramatically slowed down, with mortgages taking much longer to be agreed and the conveyancing process being held up by increased wait times for local searches. There is also a limited availability of mortgages at higher loan to values, with no mortgages currently for borrowers with a 5% deposit, and a limited number of mortgages with a 10% deposit. Before the pandemic, there would be 100’s of mortgages at this level, so first-time buyers are having to find much more of a deposit; they are hence increasingly reliant on family to provide gifted deposits (which are still acceptable to most lenders).
Other than the high-loan-to-value mortgages, which might be considered a risk in uncertain times, the mortgage market is strong with low rates and excellent deals.
With regard to the next few months, I do feel that the market will remain very strong in our area, as demand is likely to outstrip the supply of property for some time. However, I feel that the general economy is bound to suffer from the end of furlough and potential higher levels of unemployment in certain sectors — expect to see some adjustments accordingly.
I would always say that property is a long term investment, and any times when prices might level off short term can be an excellent opportunity to enter or move up the market.
There have also been increased enquiries from existing homeowners who have spent much more time at home during lockdown — who, rather than moving out, are looking to release equity from their homes through a remortgage. They are looking to add further accommodation, create bespoke office space, or improve their gardens. They seem to have reconnected with their homes, neighbours, and the ideal location of the Malton area.