In a new year message sent out to all registered mortgage brokers in the first week of January, Santander gave a round-up of how they have supported brokers and borrowers with their mortgage applications in 2022. Last year was a difficult year in the UK for many reasons and the mortgage and property market went through a lot of changes. House values decreased, mortgage rates went up, and the ability to get a mortgage in general was made more difficult. One thing that Santander did to support borrowers in 2022 was to introduce a Santander mortgage offer extension to ensure completions could be met through the chaotic and busy period of the last few months.
Why Was A Santander Mortgage Offer Extension Introduced?
As mortgage rates went up in September/October/November of 2022 and lenders started removing products at record pace, there was a huge scramble for borrowers wanting to try and remortgage or product transfer before their monthly payments sky-rocketed. This inevitably caused a big backlog with lenders as already swamped and understaffed underwriting teams struggled to keep up with the sheer amount of applications and documents being submitted in such a short period of time.
Santander, one of the more popular and well known mortgage lenders was hit particularly badly and borrowers and brokers were subject to mortgage application processing times of between 4 and 6 weeks! To put that into perspective, you could have submitted your application on the 1st of September and might not have expected an offer to be issued until the beginning of November…assuming that everything (bank statements/payslips/proof of deposit) was accepted by the underwriting team.
These delays to application assessments from Santander caused even further delays with estate agents and solicitor processing times. Because of these delays, there was a serious risk of your mortgage offer expiring before the other elements of the purchase could be completed. Meaning people risked losing their product and rate and possibly their property.
What Did Santander Do?
To ease this stress and frankly to take some of the pressure of their underwriting team, Santander offered a one month mortgage offer extension on top of their standard 6 month offer validity criteria. Which was incredibly helpful to many clients stressing about being able to complete their purchase in time.
Changes To Santander Mortgage Offer Extension
Santander have now announced that they will be removing this 1 month offer extension. Although initially seeming like a bad thing, this is actually a very positive move from Santander. In our opinion, it is a sign that the lenders have now caught up on their processing times and things aren’t quite as mad as they were in the last quarter of 2022. But let’s not get too cocky.
Santander may not be as swamped and Santander processing times may now be more in hand, but getting a mortgage approved in a timely fashion in general with banks is still difficult and nowhere near the speed they once were. Banks and building societies are often slow with processing and have different departments assessing different elements of applications.
Fortunately for our clients, we live and breath mortgages and we have an experienced and dedicated mortgage administration team whose job is to nail the lenders and push through applications as quickly and smoothly as humanly possible. It is extremely important that cases are packaged to lenders appropriately and in the most favourable way to ensure a smooth process. We at Oportfolio mortgages ensure this, and make sure the whole process is as stress free and swift as possible.
If you or anyone you know needs help with their mortgage, please feel free to get in contact. We are more than happy to help anyone who needs a hand. We have access to the whole of market, that’s over 90 different mortgage lenders. Maybe Santander isn’t the best lender for you? Don’t worry, we can help find you the best product and lender.