The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Proposal to help home movers

- BY VICKY SHAW

UK home buyers can extend their mortgage offer for up to three months, lenders have said.

The initiative is for customers impacted by Covid-19 who have already exchanged contracts.

Stephen Jones, chief executive of financial services trade body UK Finance, said: “Lenders recognise that many people looking to move into their new home are facing significan­t stress and uncertaint­y due to the impacts of coronaviru­s.

“Social distancing measures mean many house moves will need to be delayed. It is clearly not appropriat­e for people shielding or selfisolat­ing to move home.

“Where people have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion this is likely to be particular­ly stressful. All mortgage lenders are working to find ways to enable customers who have exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to three months to enable them to move house at a later date.”

If a customer’s circumstan­ces change during the three-month period, or the terms of the house purchase change significan­tly and continuing with the mortgage would cause house buyers to face financial hardship, lenders will work with customers to help them manage their finances as a matter of urgency, Mr Jones added.

Building Societies Associatio­n chief executive Robin Fieth said: “A three-month extension of existing mortgage offers seems a fair and reasonable step to take.”

“Extension of offers seems a reasonable step to take”

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