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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Number of mortgage products reaches post-recession high

The total number of mortgage products available reached a post-recession high of 13,539 in April. 

The latest National Mortgage Index from Mortgage Advice Bureau found that a year on from the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), the number of mortgage products has increased by 19% since April 2014. 

Mortgage products available through intermediaries in particular have risen significantly over the past year, up from 7,942 in April 2014 to 9,309, an increase of 1,367. 

Mortgage rates have been falling steadily over the past six months, and April’s Index suggests these are yet to have hit the bottom of the curve. 

Average two year fixed rates fell below 3% for the first time in April and both three and five year fixed rates have never been lower, according to data from Moneyfacts.co.uk.

“Consumers have been benefiting from record low mortgage rates for some time now, and product availability has continued to improve. A low interest rate environment – plus extra initiatives such as stamp duty reform – has certainly helped to make affordability conditions better for consumers, despite the Mortgage Market Review,” says Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau. 

“However, while mortgage products are certainly now more competitively priced, borrowers will find they are paying a greater premium for the security of a five-year fix. With an interest rate rise forecast for 2016, it’s unsurprising that lenders are building in this cushion to longer-term fixed products to avoid under-pricing in the long run,” he adds. 

There was a small slowdown in mortgage applications in April, according to the report, with total cases down by 10% compared to March. 

Mortgage Advice Bureau says this was partly attributable to the Easter break at the beginning of the month, and total mortgage applications remain 22% higher year-on-year. 

“Consumer demand is certainly riding high, but our major concern is that housing supply is running dangerously low. The UK is short of enough suitable properties to support potential buyers’ homeowning aspirations, and a housing strategy that will last beyond the current government is desperately needed,” Murphy added.

  • Rob  Davies

    So MMR hasn't actually obstructed activity in the mortgage market? Strange, but that would seem to be what the stats point to.

  • Tom  Harrington

    Doesn't seem MMR has slowed down the market as much as predicted. Although, just because there is loads of mortgage products available on the market, doesn't necessarily mean enough people are buying them.

  • Karl Knipe

    Surprising, but as Tom says it would be interesting to see the actual take-up of these mortgage products on the market. Good to see things slowly getting back to pre-recessions levels, though. Shows a new confidence in the housing market, which was temporarily halted by pre-election jitters.

  • Karl Knipe

    Surprising, but as Tom says it would be interesting to see the actual take-up of these mortgage products on the market. Good to see things slowly getting back to pre-recessions levels, though. Shows a new confidence in the housing market, which was temporarily halted by pre-election jitters.

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