property markets

PHOTO: UK property. FILE

Almost four in every 10 (38%) homebuyers in the UK have seen a property purchase fall through because of mortgage delays, a new survey has shown.

Over half (52%) of homebuyers think the process of securing a mortgage is too slow, and most (69%) consider it a stressful experience, according to a survey commissioned by Butterfield Mortgages.

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Most borrowers also want to see more flexibility from lenders, with 59% saying mortgage providers rely too heavily on strict and rigid criteria when assessing applicant’s eligibility.

The study also found nearly half (48%) of mortgage customers believe lenders do not provide adequate support to borrowers once the loan has been delivered.

Alpa Bhakta, CEO of Butterfield Mortgages, said: “The research has uncovered concerns among mortgage customers with the levels of efficiency and customer care they are receiving from lenders, which should serve as a clear call to action for mortgage providers across the UK. Positively, the research shows that borrowers can see true value in having the support of attentive lenders they can rely on to help navigate the complexities of the property market”.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and buyers face a competitive market, there is evidently a need for greater flexibility and better communication — with prospective borrowers and existing customers alike. Making such improvements will not only improve support for homebuyers, but it will also rebuild trust with mortgage customers.”

The figures come as lending to consumers in the UK rose last month by the highest amount in nearly five years, driven by a record rise in credit card borrowing, adding to signs of the growing cost-of-living squeeze.

Figures from the Bank of England on Tuesday showed consumer credit rose by a net £1.88bn, around £1bn more than consensus expectations and the biggest increase since March 2017.