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COVID-19 & Mortgages

With the coronavirus still very much in the spotlight we thought we would share this wonderful update from our mortgage partner Mortgage Direct about the situation with mortgages at the moment amid the virus outbreak and lockdown.

In light of the circumstances currently affecting the world, we are keeping a close eye on government recommendations concerning Covid-19. All the Mortgage Direct Team are well, and we hope you and your families are too.

Fortunately, all our advisers work remotely and are well equipped to work as normal. As we offer a telephone and e-mail based service, we can continue to assist you as we have up until now. We operate a secure CRM database and server network that will allow us to access all relevant files with no disruption to service.

Like most other countries at the moment, we appreciate that the situation in Portugal means people are unable to travel to or within Portugal and estate agents are temporarily closing their doors. Although many property purchases will probably be put on hold for the time being, we are aware from the main lending banks that valuations of properties are still going ahead and that some of the notaries are still open and completions are going through. We heard from one lawyer that she is still able to order NIF (identification number & tax code) for her clients.

In a Forbes article this month, Portugal (and in particular the Algarve) was mentioned as number one of the 3 favoured countries in the world to live post the coronavirus for retirees. Portugal offers year-round sunshine, safety, good infrastructure, a great health care system, great beaches, golf, affordable & healthy living and the English language is widely spoken.

We will work remotely with our banking contacts to process applications already in the pipeline. If we can get these mortgages approved, once the travel restrictions are lifted, clients can continue with the purchase having the peace of mind the mortgage has been approved.

If you are interested in buying in Portugal, we would still recommend you start the process now and get the finance in place before you look at properties. Having a mortgage offer when viewing properties makes the sales process much smoother for you the buyer, the seller and the agent. A number of clients are getting in contact with us based on this – “We have found a number of villas that meet our criteria and will organise a visit to view them when travel restrictions due to Covid 19 have been lifted. We would like to get a mortgage in principle in the meantime and understand the repayments as well as the purchasing costs. Thank you.”

Has there been any change in interest rates?
No. Unlike the Bank of England recently reducing the bank rate by 50 basis points to 0.25% and then again on the 19th March, to 0.1%, at the time of writing, the European Central Bank (ECB) has not lowered its rate, despite market expectations of a cut. The ECB’s main rate remains at -0.5%, so borrowing is still extremely cheap to buy in Portugal. Rates are as low as 1.7% fixed for 30 years and as low as Euribor + 1.2% (currently 1.078%) for variable. Borrowing has never been cheaper!

If you are interested in a mortgage, please get in contact. Thank you.

Mortgage enquiries
For any mortgage-related enquiries, please don’t hesitate to get in contact
with Katherine by calling her on +34 695 706 749

 

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