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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Good news: huge rise in mortgage choice, with some record low cost deals

Despite the many woes in the housing market, there has possibly never been a better time to get a competitive mortgage with a fast-growing number of products for buyers and record low costs for two- and three-year fixed mortgage deals.

Data from the Mortgage Advice Bureau shows that the total number of mortgage products rose by three per cent in February to 17,654 – a big leap of more than a third from the 12,940 available in February 2015. 

Last month was the 13th successive month in which there was a growth in the number of mortgage products available to would-be house purchasers, MAB says.

Meanwhile MAB says average rates for two and three-year fixed mortgage deals fell to record lows in February.

Analysis of Moneyfacts Average Mortgage Rate data shows the average two-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 2.54 per cent in February, down from January’s 2.56 per cent. Meanwhile the average three-year fixed rate mortgage rate fell to less than three per cent for the first time, down to 2.92 per cent from 3.01 per cent over the same period.

MAB says these monthly falls in fixed rates are the latest in a downward trend that shows little sign of stopping, with rates having fallen substantially over the past 12 months.  

It says that with the Bank of England unlikely to raise the base rate anytime soon following the Monetary Policy Committee’s recent unanimous decision to keep it at 0.5 per cent for an 84th consecutive month, low  rates look set to be a feature of the marketplace for some time. 

“Competition between lenders is now hotting up ahead of the spring bounce in market activity. This is good news for prospective borrowers, as they are able to choose from a greater range of products tailored to their individual needs” according to Brian Murphy, head of lending at MAB.

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