There are now more mortgage products available than at any time since the start of the pandemic in March 2021.
Data from independent mortgage market monitor Moneyfacts shows that at 4,243, product choice for mortgage borrowers is at the highest level since March 2020.
Borrowers with smaller deposits have particularly enlarged choice as the sector seeing the largest proportional uplift is the 95 per cent loan to value tier.
Interest rate competition has stepped up with some providers launching sub-one per cent deals in the lower LTV brackets and competitive repricing in the higher LTV tiers.
Moneyfacts says that with changes to products and criteria coming in thick and fast, the average shelf life of a mortgage deal has dropped, giving prospective borrowers just 28 days to secure their chosen product on average.
Eleanor Williams, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts, says “Homeowners’ aspirations to acquire larger living space and to make the stamp duty holiday deadline has pushed up UK house prices and while the demand for a dwindling supply of property continues to increase, there has been a notable surge in mortgage borrowing.
“Lenders are reacting by improving product choice, with 316 more products now on offer compared to last month, seeing overall mortgage availability top 4,000 products for the first time since the pandemic’s impact began over a year ago.
“While improvements in availability were recorded across the majority of the loan to value tiers, it was at 95 per cent LTV that nearly a quarter of the new deals were launched.
“The resurgence of high LTV products and the fact that their average rates are beginning to fall is particularly good news for first-time buyers, especially considering that Nationwide Building Society’s recent House Price Index Report found that house prices have risen nearly £24,000 over the past year, meaning that building that five per cent deposit is even harder now.”