18 March 2020

Everything you need to know about Covid-19 and home buying

Your Covid-19 FAQs answered!

We understand it's a worrying time at the moment and you've probably got lots of questions around buying a home and what your next steps should be. So we've worked closely with mortgage experts Metro Finance to answer some of your frequently asked questions around buying a home at this time.

Can I still get a mortgage?
Yes, it is still possible to get a mortgage, however some lenders are unable to carry out surveys so will park the application once it reaches this stage. It’s also worth noting most lenders have tightened criteria at the moment; for example most will not accept variable sources of income such as bonus or overtime.

Can I still talk to financial advisors?
Yes, our partner Mortgage Advice firm, Metro Finance, are open as usual.
“I was just about to reserve a house before lockdown, should I hold off until after lockdown?”
You can still reserve as normal. It may be that your mortgage lender needs to park the application and we understand that, so will wait for you.

Reserving a new home here at Space Homes remains the same. Whether it's an off plan reservation or not, you can still reserve your dream home even if other parts of the process have to be put on pause.
“I still want to buy a house when this is all over. Should I keep house searching online until after lockdown or would you recommend holding off my search for now?”
Keep looking, new build and resale properties are still being marketed as normal and you can still put down reservations in most cases. Now is the best time to do your research and narrow down exactly what you want in your new home. You never know, you might just find your dream home.

Has there been any changes to the Shared Ownership scheme?
No, everything is the same with Shared Ownership.

Does being on furlough effect my chances of getting a mortgage?
It is still possible to get a mortgage, the reduced income level can affect your borrowing capacity. Not all lenders will lend whilst on furlough.
Are there any impacts I should be aware of if I’m on furlough?
In general the amount you can borrow will be based against your furlough income, rather than your actual salary. There is no guarantee a lender will lend whilst on furlough, lenders will always try to help and will take a common sense approach to lending.
How does being self employed effect my chances of getting a mortgage at the moment?
If your business is still running during the pandemic, lenders are still actively lending. Some lenders are taking a view that income drops are likely and therefore using a percentage of your income rather than the full amount.
Are there any impacts I should be aware of if I’m self employed?
Lenders have always based the amount you can borrow on your latest years accounts, obviously this is historic income. You should think hard how the pandemic will affect your current income, be open and honest with your Mortgage Adviser.
Has the housing market been effected negatively because of covid-19?
Demand seems to have held in the Shared Ownership market, even risen.
Is there any delays in the home buying process I should be aware of?
Yes, there is currently a national backlog of surveys/valuations to the tune of around 60,000. This is the main issue causing delays in the mortgage market and home buying process.


These FAQs were answered in partnership with Metro Finance.

Our Covid-19 update from March 2020

Following the latest UK Government announcement (23rd March 2020) and in the interests of the safety and welfare of both our customers and our employees, we have closed our marketing suites and show homes. However we have everything we need to continue offering a virtual service to our customers, so please continue to contact us by phone or email.
Call our sales team for a personalised appointment where we can take you on a virtual tour of our homes or if you have any questions our teams are available to talk them through on the phone, via Skype, Facetime or Microsoft Teams. 
If you are due to move into your new home in the next few weeks, our sales team are reaching out to all customers to discuss how the changes impact each individual purchase. We will prioritise calls to those who are due to move this week, so please be patient as we will contact everyone.