HSBC UK has restarted physical property valuations, meaning it can now start to process some mortgage applications which had been paused.
For some home loan applications, the bank had not been able to value properties appropriately using remote methods during the coronavirus outbreak.
HSBC UK said the move, which applies to properties in England and Scotland, represents a step towards a more normal service. It managed to carry out nearly 300 physical valuations on Wednesday.
It said the safety of its surveyors and customers is of paramount importance. Surveyors will be provided with PPE including hand sanitiser, gloves, masks, antibacterial wipes and overalls.
This is a very welcome step forward towards some kind of normalMichelle Andrews, HSBC UK
In advance of a valuation, the occupier will be asked to prop open all doors and open any loft hatch. The occupier will not be in the property while the valuation is being carried out.
HSBC UK said a valuation will not be allowed where someone in the property is self-isolating, the occupant is vulnerable and/or shielding, or experiencing symptoms either now or within the last seven days.
Michelle Andrews, HSBC UK’s head of buying a home, said: “This is a very welcome step forward towards some kind of normal. We have worked hard to continue to take forward applications with desktop and automated valuations, but that has not been possible in all cases.
“We will be systematically working our way through those applications that have been paused, and our surveyors will be in touch with customers or the property occupant at the earliest opportunity to make an appointment so applications can move forward.
“There is no action needed on their part, or by mortgage brokers, to apply again for a valuation. We will be in touch over the next few weeks to make arrangements.”