Are remortgages getting more labour intensive - poll for Mortgage Solutions

Journalist: Samantha Downes, Currently at the I (business editing some Sundays (freelance) and Mortgage Solutions

ended 23. June 2022

What is making remortgaging more popular/labour intensive and what are the solutions in your opinion.

Thank you



5 responses from the Newspage community

Yes, remortgaging is becoming tricker, it seems, due to a combination of poor service levels from many lenders to quirkier cases and a tightening of affordability, not to mention waiting for an age for a survey to take place. On top of that, you have the constant and age-old problem of getting the documents required in the correct format from a customer upfront all at once. People forget that remortgaging is the same as buying a new home; you're taking out a brand new mortgage; the only difference is that the legal aspect is much shorter and less involved. For mortgage purposes, you have to treat it as when you took your first mortgage, becuase the requirements and due diligence are precisely the same.
Remortgaging is becoming more popular due to the rise in homeowners property values. The property market is still chaotic so with moving unaffordable, or proving difficult to find the right property with the sheer demand of buyers, home owners look to remortgage to unlock some of the equity in their property to get their existing property to fit their dream home requirements. The demand on lenders and Valuations is making remortgaging more labour intensive. There is around a three week wait for valuations currently so 'quick remortgages' are currently a thing of the past until the general demand on the market slows. Remote valuations would help with this delay.
Repetition of information is probably the most unnecessary delay in the process of remortgaging. A large part of this is the information required by the solicitor to be able to switch from one lender to another. On the mortgage application side I can understand that up to date information such as income proof is necessary but if there was a way in which circumstantial evidence could be shared from previous applications that would save a lot of time. This may sound farfetched but it would be great if there was a centralised system for each individual which contained necessary information to be able to underwrite them rather than the client having to produce the information themselves.
Customers are flocking thick and fast to secure a new mortgage deal in fear of further rate rises to come. Ultimately, creating huge pressure on the industry with the high volume of applications being processed. Many lenders just can't cope, applications processing timescales are as bad, if not worst than the peak of the stamp duty holiday. This is only half the battle though, as they still need to tackle the conveyancer that the lender allocates a customer to switch their mortgage to them. The process is cumbersome at best and the service provided is nothing to be desired. These two issues combined are creating a huge pressure on broker who have the hold the whole process together.
Remortgage applications are currently much trickier than they were in the past due to lender service levels, solicitors service levels and valuation delays. I've been contacting all my clients well in advance of their deals ending to try and counter these delays but it's still frustrating for clients and adds to advisers workloads due to additional chasing.