Aldermore has temporarily changed its underwriting guidance to help borrowers who want to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday before it ends in March.
The lender’s changes support buyers who will use bridging finance to get the deals over the line amid delays in the mortgage process.
It means refinance from bridging for owner-occupied properties of less than six months will be accepted. The property must have been owned for at least one month and no additional borrowing, other than fees will be permitted.
In a note to brokers, Aldermore said the industry has seen a “surge in activity” due to the stamp duty temporary reduction.
But added that the “overwhelming increase in demand” had caused delays with many conveyancers now warning they’re not able to guarantee meeting the 31 March deadline.
The lender said many purchases will be part of a chain which will need to be broken with short-term finance to complete before stamp duty is reinstated at its former level.
Aldermore told brokers it’s important to “set realistic expectations” with clients about the delays and consider ways to help them speed up the process, such as paying local authority search fees upfront and making sure all documentation is provided as soon as possible.
Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore (pictured), said: “The stamp duty scheme has provided a welcome boost to the housing market but we know it’s also created challenges given the hard deadline.
“The demand for March completions has caused delays across the home buying process and we wanted to let our brokers know if they have customers wanting to use bridging finance to help secure a property before 31 March, then we’re here to help.”