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Hometrack grows share of residential valuations market as coronavirus leads to sharp increase in use of digital valuations technology

By Tom Parker on 13 May 2020

Proportion of valuations completed by Hometrack’s automated valuation model (AVM) rises by 15% while applications using Hometrack’s managed Desktop valuation solution increases by 500%

Hometrack, the leading provider of digital valuations including AVM and Desktop, and portfolio insight to the UK property market, has released data which shows that the company has increased its market share despite the overall market seeing a sharp decline in activity due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 

Their data reveals the proportion of all valuations completed by Hometrack’s market-leading AVM has risen by 15% as social distancing causes a sharp increase in lenders adopting AVM technology to inform mortgage lending decisions. At the same time, Hometrack’s risk managed Desktop valuation tool for surveyors has seen a 500% growth in use allowing lenders to meet the needs of customers despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Alongside this Hometrack has revealed new data from the same period about the state of the UK mortgage market. The data shows:

  • Mortgage applications for April were down by 40% compared to March
  • Purchase applications fell 75% month-on-month and remortgage applications fell 25% month-on-month
  • The proportion of mortgage applications with higher Loans to Value (LTV) has fallen. Prior to the lockdown period, over 25% of mortgage applications were for products with LTVs at or above 85%, compared to less than 6% in April.  This is due to both the reduction in purchase application activity, which tend to be at higher LTV,  as well as a more restricted product range.

Commenting on the data David Ross, Managing Director of Hometrack, said:

“These are unprecedented times for the residential property industry. With viewings cancelled, estate agent offices closed and work on new developments halted, the coronavirus pandemic has effectively closed down the housing market. This has been compounded by banks tightening their lending criteria and removing many products from the market as they try to minimise their exposure to more risky customers.” 

“In this challenging climate lenders are turning to automated valuation and desktop services so they can serve their customers remotely. With physical valuations no longer possible clients know that our AVM is not only reliable but can quickly and easily be used to provide robust digital valuations. This, combined with transparent and regular reporting, gives clients the confidence they need to meet the needs of their customers and make informed lending decisions.”

Steve Seal, Managing Director of Bluestone Mortgages said: "Social distancing has meant we have no choice but to work remotely but thankfully Hometrack's AVM has meant many of our customers haven't seen an interruption in service. We've been able to continue with much of our pipeline of applications, providing customers with an efficient, secure service backed up with industry-leading data." 

Founded in the UK in 1999, Hometrack is trusted by major mortgage lenders, housebuilders and government bodies. The company launched its market-leading AVM in 2002 and now provides over 50 million automated valuations each year, covering both origination and portfolio valuation. It has expanded into European markets via partnerships with market leaders such as the European AVM Alliance (EAA) and Calcasa. 

Hometrack is part of Zoopla, owner of some of the UK’s most trusted digital platforms including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and Property Software Group. Hometrack is also a founding member of the EAA.

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