News In Focus
Lenders stay wary of home reports
Barclays Bank has become the first lender to confirm that it will still require prospective mortgage borrowers to obtain their own house survey when home reports are introduced next week.
The bank, which owns the former building society the Woolwich, confirmed at the weekend that it would ask buyers to provide their own valuation report.
Of other major lenders, Royal Bank of Scotland has still to confirm its position, while HBOS will ask for a generic mortgage valuation report, which the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has said its members who provide sellers' surveys will prepare for no extra charge. Lloyds TSB and Abbey have said they are likely to accept home reports that comply with their requirements.
Lenders' wariness stems in part from the continuing decline in property values, but all lenders are likely to decline to accept a report prepared more than 12 weeks earlier, which means that a majority of sellers in the present market will require to update their home reports in some way.
Houses put on the market after 1 December must have a home report prepared for the seller.