March 19, 2020   |   Jack Taylor

Mortgage Repayment Holidays Offer Reassurance to the Property Market

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Economic upheaval due to the coronavirus is a worrying prospect for the property market which, only weeks previously, was enjoying an uplift.

The government’s Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, has described the coronavirus as a marathon rather than a sprint to the finish line, meaning that the country, and indeed the world, is likely to be feeling the negative impacts for many months to come. 

In a move that will go some way to reassure the market, first the Royal Bank of Scotland, and now many other providers, are offering mortgage repayment holidays to help people get through the worst of the downturn. 

This new initiative will offer some reassurance to homeowners paying mortgages, and to people looking to buy but worried about the imminent collapse of property market purchasing chains.

Royal Bank of Scotland issued a statement saying, “we are monitoring the impact of coronavirus across all our customers to ensure we can support them through the disruption.” What that means in practice is a three-month payment holiday, backed by the government, with the prospect of further help beyond that in the future. The chancellor has offered his personal assurance to the country that he will do whatever it takes to get the country through these difficulties.

The Chancellor’s words will offer some comfort to the many UK citizens and residents faced with the difficult prospect of financial hardship. The Chancellor has also promised that those in private rental accommodation will not be evicted – although we have yet to see how this will be achieved and what the impact will be on landlords.

Each person and family’s situation will be different, and providers are promising to consider appeals on a case by case basis. What’s important is not to bury your head in the sand. A problem ignored does not go away, in fact, it can very often make the situation worse. RBS is encouraging people in difficulties, or facing the prospect of difficulties, to contact their mortgage providers early so as to avoid problems further down the line.

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