Want your mortgage approved faster? Your postcode can make a huge difference

Mortgages can take longer to process since the start of the pandemic, but the timeframes vary dramatically between different UK locations

Mortgage application: how much can I borrow?
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With just over 100 days left until the stamp duty holiday ends on the 31 March, many home buyers will be nervous about the delayed timeframes that have become a feature of the property market since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

On top of the usual worries researching mortgage rates, applying for mortgages, booking conveyancing, and getting stuff done while the country winds down for the Christmas holidays, this festive season is marked by many additional obstacles to completing a house purchase quickly. Did you know that one of them could be your post code? 

 Trussle have carried out research into mortgage approval times by lender – and by location. The results are fascinating, not least because there's a significant disparity in processing times between different UK regions. Thus, if you're getting a mortgage in the North West, it'll take just two weeks to get approved on average; but if you're in the South West, it'll take almost double that at 29 days. 

If you're in the West Midlands, it'll take around 17 days to process your mortgage application, but if you're in the East Midlands, expect the timeframe to be closer to 24 days – almost a week longer. London is neither here nor there – the average mortgage approval time in the capital is 20 days. 

If you want to speed things up, you may need to do a little bit more research into how fast your lender is at approving mortgages. According to Trussle, who've recently launched a new online stamp duty calculator that highlights how long different lender take, HSBC is the fastest lender of them all – it takes, on average, just 10 days to get a mortgage application approved with the bank. Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at Trussle, comments: 

'Like many other sectors, the property market has had its ups and downs in 2020. However, the stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland has been a lifeline for buyers and lenders alike, giving a much needed boost to the market.

 'As the deadline approaches it’s important that customers feel in control of their purchase and avoid any unwelcome surprises at the end. There has not yet been an agreement to extend the stamp duty holiday, or modify it in a way to allow those who exchange before this date to benefit. Therefore, it’s important that borrowers are equipped with as much knowledge as possible, so they can make an informed decision on their house purchase.'

New to researching mortgages? Use Habito's free online tool below to get you started. 

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.