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Good news as mortgage choice now highest for over 13 years

The product choice for buyers wanting mortgages is now the highest it has been since 2008 according to the independent service Moneyfacts.

At 5,315, the total number of products available in the residential mortgage sector has risen to the highest since March 2008 when it was 6,192.

Borrowers also now have more choice than they did pre-pandemic - in March 2020 the choice as 5,222.

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Eleanor Williams, finance expert at Moneyfacts, says: “Availability has now eclipsed that which was offered prior to the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 and demonstrates a robust level of recovery in the residential sector.

“We recorded improvements in the level of choice across the majority of the Loan-To-Value brackets but most markedly at 90 and 95 per cent where the number of products rose by 39 and 37 products respectively this month. 

“While the number of options for borrowers considering deals in these brackets remains slightly below that recorded in December 2019, when compared year-on-year the improvement is clear. This is supported by the fact that the overall average LTV has reached 78.83 per cent - which is the highest we have recorded since May 2019.”

She says that despite increases in rates for most of the lower LTV products, borrowers with the smallest deposits are actually seeing rates fall.

 

Williams continues: “It may be that, following the end of the stamp duty holiday which had kept the property market buoyant for much of 2021, providers are now focusing on enticing first-time buyer business, which has often been considered the life blood of the housing market. 

“Indeed, those looking to secure a 95 per cent LTV mortgage may be very pleased to note that at 3.09 and 3.39 per cent, the average fixed rates on offer have plummeted to the lowest on our records which go back to 2011. 

“Due to rising house prices, mortgage affordability concerns and until recently limited product choice and higher rates, taking that first step onto the property ladder may have felt a distant possibility for many, so these positive figures may provide some hope to those who dream of owning their own home.”

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