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Growing numbers of homeowners who remortgage are being forced to pay thousands of pounds more for their home loan due to the value of their properties being slashed. 

According to mortgage brokers, surveyors have been more cautious in recent weeks and have cut property valuations, with one broker seeing £50,000 knocked off a £300,000 valuation. 

This rise in prudent pricing has been driven by confusion over the future of house prices among lenders and prospective buyers amid rapid fluctuations in mortgage rates, brokers warn. 

It means homebuyers face the headache of their lender refusing to grant a mortgage for the agreed purchase price. 

Meanwhile, those who need to remortgage could be squeezed into lower banded loan-to-value ratio products – causing their interest rates to surge. 

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‘Down valuations’ occur when a surveyor disagrees with the homeowner’s, or buyer’s and seller’s view of what a property is worth. 

Broker Richard Jennings has seen a hike in the number of down valuations since December. 

Until a few months ago, just one to two per cent of homes were undervalued – now he says it’s 15 per cent for remortgage applications and 5 per cent for buyers. 

Graham Cox, a broker at Self Employed Mortgage Hub, says: ‘It’s happening now because we’re officially in recession and lenders are still nervous that property values could fall this year. 

Buyers and vendors are getting such mixed signals about house prices that many offers are at, or close to asking price again.’ 

When a down valuation happens, buyers can raise the funds to cover the difference between the mortgage and sale price, ask the seller to lower their asking price or pull out of the deal. 

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