Sundeep Patel

Together increases use of digital valuations

Together has updated its criteria to allow more digital property valuations in order to reduce costs and speed up mortgage applications.

This aims to make it easier for applications to progress, particularly during lockdown, and to benefit customers looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

Previously, Together allowed digital valuations for its mortgages on properties worth up to £500,000. 

The lender will now accept digital valuations for regulated bridging and first-charge mortgages with no maximum property value. 

In addition, the maximum property value required for digital valuations for second-charge loans has been increased to £750,000.

The enhanced automated valuation model (AVM) rules also apply across all Together’s personal finance products with a maximum LTV of 70% (65% for regulated bridging applications), a maximum loan size of £250,000 and with a confidence level of 5+.

For home purchases, Together will accept the minimum Hometrack valuation or purchase price, or the council valuation for right-to-buy properties, while physical valuations will still be needed on shared-ownership properties, those of non-standard construction and new-builds.

Sundeep Patel, head of intermediary sales at Together (pictured above), said: “We estimate that changes to our rules mean we will be able to use Hometrack’s AVM in more than 50% of personal finance applications, up from about a third of cases in 2019.

“It’s an incredibly useful tool, particularly under the current Covid-related lockdown restrictions, and could reduce costs for intermediaries submitting cases to us, while speeding up the application process by removing the time it takes for physical valuations of properties.

“We have brought in these rule changes to streamline the process at a time when hundreds of thousands of home buyers are looking to complete transactions ahead of the stamp duty holiday deadline at the end of March.”

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