Current Homes England Help to Buy scheme – ending soon
The current Homes England Help to Buy Equity loan Scheme 2013-2021 is coming to an end. Applications need to be received by NatWest by close of business on the 18th December 2020.
The new Homes England Help to Buy Equity loan Scheme will commence on the 16th December 2020, NatWest will accept fully packaged applications from customers from this date.
Coronavirus Update: Evidence of Income requirements for employed customers
With the current restrictions and the UK Government extending the Job Retention Scheme until March 2021, we have reviewed and updated our employed policy to ensure we are doing the right thing for customers.
At this time our primary purpose remains to ensure that any mortgage we provide to customers is affordable.
What you need to know
We continue to support customers who have returned to work following furlough, providing they can demonstrate at least one full month’s evidence of their income e.g. payslips. For customers who cannot provide this evidence, we are unable to accept an application at this time.
A return to work letter from the customer’s employer is no longer acceptable evidence.
These changes in policy are effective from 01/12/20 for all new employed applications. These changes do not impact employed applications submitted prior to 01/12/20
We will continue to review our policy in light of any appropriate changes which affect employed customers.
For all customers not impacted by furlough, there are no changes to our current policies.
What you need to do
Review and follow the revised policy guidelines for employed customers
Self-employed policy remains the same
If you have any questions, please view the FAQs on our latest news page.
Please remember to let us know if there is a change in the customer’s circumstances at any point during the mortgage process.
Stamp Duty incentive ending 31st March 2021
A house purchase must complete buy the 31st March 2021 to benefit from the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) incentive.
According to Zoopla historic data shows that 81% of mortgage applications in December and 54% of applications made in January complete by the end of March.
Because of the higher than normal housing transactions taking place at the moment it is important to apply as soon as possible and also make sure that each mortgage application you submit is correctly packaged with all the appropriate documentation to give your customers the best chance of benefitting from this incentive.
We are doing all that we can to support customers looking to benefit from the stamp duty incentive. We have seen increased times taken for local authority searches with a number currently taking longer than six weeks to complete (you can review local council search times here). As part of our support we are pleased to confirm that with immediate effect we can now temporarily accept purchase search indemnity policies, removing a potential barrier for customers looking to benefit from the stamp duty incentive.
What can you do to help?
The more you can prepare, the smoother the application process should be. To help us process your customers’ mortgage applications and ensure that their house purchases and moves complete before the deadline, here are a few tips:
- Make sure you have the source each customer’s deposit validated and that the funds are readily available
- Have evidence of each customer’s income and employment status confirmed
- If there is anything unusual about a customer’s circumstances please send in a memo with the application
- Request that your customers engage their Solicitors, Estate Agents and request removals company quotes as early as possible and ensure that all are aware on your target completion date
- Understand the timescales for completing local authority searches
- Ask customers to alert the vendors’ estate agents that a valuer will need access to the property to conduct a valuation as soon as possible
- Understand if your customer needs to complete by the 31st March (we recommend avoiding completion on the 31st of March as this will be a busy time)
For more information, and to ensure your customers make the most out of the Stamp Duty incentive, please view our top tips guide that you can share with them.