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Mortgages and coronavirus: UK property market grinds to a halt amid lockdown

Coronavirus has ground the UK property market to a halt, with most mortgage lenders suspending most new mortgages, and some even suspending remortgaging. Property transactions are becoming increasingly difficult with every link in the property selling chain affected, from estate agent appointments to property evaluations and viewings.

Property sales that are at contract exchange stage are legally allowed to go ahead to the completion stage, although everyone is being strongly advised to delay completion for up to three months. Channel Four’s Kirstie Allsopp advised in an interview with the BBC that ‘what is legal and what is compassionate’ are not necessarily the same thing under the circumstances, and urged everyone who is able to do so to speak to their seller and conveyancer and delay the move.

Where does that leave prospective home owners who were hoping to find the home of their dreams this year? All may not be lost: the first thing to do is to speak to your prospective lender or intermediary as soon as possible to gauge what options currently remain open. Lloyds and Barclays have both said that they still will lend to buyers with a deposit of 40 per cent or larger, and it’s possible other lenders will follow suit.

Some evaluations and viewings may be possible to carry out via video, so phone the estate agent that’s advertising the property to see what’s currently possible. Expect everything to take much, much longer, but remember: the restrictions are temporary and even if you’re not able to go ahead with a house purchase right now, it’s still worth speaking to the estate agent about the property market in your chosen area, and to a mortgage specialist.

BY ANNA COTTRELL

Source: Real Homes

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Mortgage lenders temporarily restrict products on offer

Mortgage lenders are temporarily restricting the products on offer as the impact of coronavirus hits the market.

Borrowers who have lower deposits saved may find themselves particularly affected.

Lloyds Banking Group has temporarily withdrawn new mortgage and re-mortgage products with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of over 60% across its broker channels – Halifax Intermediaries, Scottish Widows Bank and BM Solutions.

It said customers can still apply for a mortgage directly online as normal with Halifax and Lloyds Bank.

Product transfer and further advance products remain unchanged and customers with existing mortgage offers have been granted an additional three months to complete their home purchase or re-mortgage at the agreed mortgage rate.

Regrettably it has been necessary to withdraw a further selection of products across our residential and buy-to-let ranges.

Barclays

Meanwhile, Barclays said it has had to withdraw some products, although it said a number of lower deposit deals remain available.

A statement from Barclays said: “Regrettably it has been necessary to withdraw a further selection of products across our residential and buy-to-let ranges.

“This action has been taken to support us in managing the flow of applications into our UK underwriting teams following the closure of our key offshore sites.

“At the same time it enables our colleagues to provide greater help to those customers requesting mortgage payment holiday arrangements for financial support.”

The Barclays statement added: “We expect to launch a fresh range of residential and buy-to-let products shortly and we apologise for any inconvenience this causes in the interim.”

Mortgage lenders have already pledged to offer three-month payment holidays to borrowers suffering financial hardship due to coronavirus.

A report released by Zoopla on Thursday predicts that house sales volumes could plunge by as much as 60% over the next three months, compared with the second quarter of 2019, as the market reacts to the impact of Covid-19.

But, while property sales are expected to see a sharp drop-off, Zoopla said house prices are not expected to change materially in the next month or two.

Meanwhile, online buy-to-let mortgage broker Property Master warned that landlords generally may face a tougher struggle to get mortgages.

Angus Stewart, Property Master’s chief executive, said: “Landlords are finding that their borrowing options are being drastically reduced.”

Source: Border Telegraph

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Mortgage payment holiday: how the three-month coronavirus payment break will work – and what happens to renters

Mortgage payers who are facing financial difficulty due to the current coronavirus pandemic are to be offered payment holidays of up to three months, the government has announced.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak made the announcement on Tuesday 17 March as part of emergency measures designed to protect households amid the virus outbreak.

Three month reprieve on payments

A number of mortgage lenders have already announced repayment holidays for borrowers affected by coronavirus, but the government’s announcement on Tuesday (17 Mar) now means all lenders will have to honour the three month time frame.

The measure comes in an effort to ease the financial burden for households, meaning borrowers will not have to pay anything towards mortgage costs “while they get back on their feet”, the Chancellor said.

The news comes after the Chancellor revealed the government is to offer £300 billion of government-backed loans to support businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

The loans are equivalent to 15 per cent of GDP and include schemes for businesses in hospitality, retail and leisure sectors, such as airlines and airports.

Stephen Jones, UK Finance chief executive, said: “Monthly mortgage payments tend to be the largest outgoing for the vast majority of households and lenders are keen to reassure homeowners that the industry is working hard to put measures in place to support them during these uncertain times.

“Customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should get in touch with their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for them.”

How will the mortgage holiday work?

In response to the government’s announcement, UK Finance, which represents financial firms, has outlined how the mortgage payment holiday will work.

The mortgage repayment is deferred for a period. The monthly payment changes to zero, and interest accrues for the period.

Where repayments are deferred for a time, the borrower will need to make up these repayments in the future, which could be over the remaining term.

Will everyone get an automatic three-month payment holiday?

Firms will help customers in the best way possible for the individual, so an automatic payment holiday may not always be the most suitable approach and may not be required by everyone.

Firms will be speaking to credit reference agencies to ensure consistent treatment of those customers to whom a repayment holiday is made available.

What if I don’t own my property but I rent instead?

The Prime Minister has said that tenants will be protected from eviction during the coronavirus outbreak.

With quarantine measures and illness likely to force many people out of work in the coming weeks, new legislation is to be introduced to prevent this from leaving those unable to pay their rent homeless.

The emergency legislation will prevent landlords from beginning the proceedings to evict tenants for at least the next three months. This applies to both renters in social and private accommodation.“As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction” the statement says.

The legislation is expected to pass through Westminster and be consented to by Holyrood within the coming week.

UK Finance has advised renters to contact their landlord or managing agent if they have problems paying your rent.

If you are a landlord and your tenants are unable to pay their rent you should contact your lender as soon as possible to discuss the options that may be open to you.

How do I apply for a payment holiday?

Lenders are offering customers who are up-to-date with their mortgage payments, and impacted by coronavirus, the ability to self-certify if they need help.

Under usual circumstances, the lender would have to assess the customer’s finances and consider what options may be the most suitable.

This is being waived to allow firms to implement a more straightforward process in an otherwise stressful time.

It is important that customers who believe they may be impacted, either directly or indirectly, contact their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if the payment holiday is a suitable option for them.

Is everyone eligible for a payment holiday?

The offer of a payment holiday can be made available to customers not already in arrears and up-to-date with payments.

Under Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules, lenders must ensure that any forbearance that is offered will enable borrowers to recover through full repayment of arrears.

Lenders must also minimise the long-term impact of arrears and ensure the mortgage remains affordable and sustainable.

Overall, forbearance needs to minimise the risk of repossession. This is why payment holidays are generally short-term.

For customers who are already in arrears or in financial difficulty, lenders will consider the full range of options ordinarily available to customers under existing rules.

What about people who may need support longer term?

While the payment holiday is in effect, the capital sum of the loan remains as is, while the interest that would have been paid accrues.

At the end of the payment holiday period, the rules will re-apply. Lenders will get in touch with customers to assess their circumstances, including income and expenditure, and come to an arrangement with the customer to enable recovery through the full repayment of the arrears.

If the customer is in financial difficulty, lenders will come to an arrangement to recover the customer into a sustainable position on the mortgage. Any arrangements will aim to minimise the risk of repossession.

What if I’m already in arrears?

You should continue to speak to your lender. Lenders will review existing arrangements if there is a change in circumstances.

By Claire Schofield

Source: Edinburgh News

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Coronavirus and mortgage payment holidays – what help can home owners get?

UK Finance has outlined how home owners could be helped with mortgage payment holidays of up to three months.

Mortgage lenders have set out how they will offer payment holidays of up to three months for borrowers who are in financial difficulty due to coronavirus.

Stephen Jones, UK Finance chief executive, said: “Monthly mortgage payments tend to be the largest outgoing for the vast majority of households and lenders are keen to reassure homeowners that the industry is working hard to put measures in place to support them during these uncertain times.

“Customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should get in touch with their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for them.”

Here are some answers from UK Finance, which represents financial firms, to general questions that customers may have about their potential options:

– How do ‘payment holidays’ work?

The mortgage repayment is deferred for a period. The monthly payment changes to zero, and interest accrues for the period. This may be particularly appropriate where there is a temporary shortfall of income.

But it is not a solution where, because of a permanent reduction in income, a borrower is unable to afford anywhere near the full mortgage repayments and there is little prospect of an improvement in the situation in the foreseeable future.

Where repayments are deferred for a time, the borrower will need to make up these repayments in the future, which could be over the remaining term.

– Will all customers receive an automatic three-month payment holiday?

Firms will help customers in the best way for the individual, so an automatic payment holiday may not always be the most suitable approach and may not be required by all customers.

Firms will be speaking to credit reference agencies to ensure consistent treatment of those customers to whom a repayment holiday is made available.

– How do I apply for a payment holiday?

Lenders are offering customers who are up-to-date with their mortgage payments and impacted by coronavirus the ability to self-certify if they need help.

Under usual circumstances, the lender would have to assess the customer’s finances and consider what forbearance options may be the most suitable.

This is being waived to allow firms to implement a more straightforward process in an otherwise stressful time.

It is important that customers who believe they may be impacted, either directly or indirectly, contact their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if the payment holiday is a suitable option for them.

– Are all customers eligible for a payment holiday?

This is one of several options. The offer of a payment holiday can be made available to customers not already in arrears and up-to-date with payments.

Under Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules, lenders must ensure that any forbearance offered enables recovery through full repayment of arrears, minimises the long-term impact of arrears, and that the mortgage remains affordable and sustainable. Overall, forbearance needs to minimise the risk of repossession.

This is why payment holidays are generally short-term. For customers who are already in arrears or in financial difficulty, lenders will consider the full range of options ordinarily available to customers under existing rules.

– What about customers who may need support longer term?

While the payment holiday is in effect, the capital sum of the loan remains as is, while the interest that would have been paid accrues.

At the end of the payment holiday period, the rules will re-apply. Lenders will get in touch with customers to assess their circumstances, including income and expenditure, and come to an arrangement with the customer to enable recovery through the full repayment of the arrears.

If the customer is in financial difficulty, lenders will come to an arrangement to recover the customer into a sustainable position on the mortgage. Any arrangements will aim to minimise the risk of repossession.

– How will a payment holiday affect my credit score?

Lenders have different approaches for reporting to credit reference agencies. Arrears that are accrued may be reported to the credit reference agency.

Firms will make efforts to ensure that forbearance offered under these circumstances will not result in an adverse impact on the customer’s credit score.

 What if I don’t own my property but rent instead?

Contact your landlord or managing agent if you have problems paying your rent. If you are a landlord and your tenants are unable to pay their rent you should contact your lender as soon as possible to discuss the options that may be open to you.

– What if I’m already in arrears?

You should continue to speak to your lender. Lenders will review existing arrangements if there is a change in circumstances.

Source: Express and Star

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‘Mortgage lenders could pull out of the market’

Niche Advice director Payam Azadi is concerned that the economic shock caused by coronavirus could force some lenders out of the market.

Azadi is concerned that non-bank lenders and specialist players could struggle with their funding lines in the weeks and months ahead.

The London broker said: “A lot of the lenders that rely on securitisations and the money markets are going to find it hard.

“Will these dry up? We’ve seen a battering of the stock market.

“The more dynamic and entrepreneurial businesses are under pressure because of the way they are funded.

“Institutions like big banks will do alright because they are backed up, well-funded and have strong balance sheets – they will weather the storm and see competition diminish.”

Azadi compared the situation to the outbreak of the global financial crisis of 2008, when some lenders reliant on securitisations went bust and exited the market because they couldn’t access their funds.

Azadi has seen many of his clients put proposed deals on hold due to the virus.

He is seeing a lot of enquiries from people looking to remortgage or consolidate debt – with measures like switching from a repayment mortgage to interest-only – to ensure they have a financial cushion in these difficult times.

However some landlords are looking at the situation as an opportunity to add to their portfolios, by purchasing a property at a competitive price.

Another broker, Aaron Strutt, product and communications manager at Trinity Financial Group, said he is continuing to help those who want to refinance.

He said: “While the main priority for people is their health during these difficult times it is important to reduce costs if possible.

“Mortgages are a big expense so if borrowers are about to switch to an expensive standard variable rate they should take action and swap to a better deal.

“We had a very busy start to the year and the market has slowed but we are still taking new enquires and will be helping our clients to remortgage.”

Despite both brokers speaking positively about borrowers wishing to refinance, they expressed disappointment that fixed rated mortgages haven’t cheapened after the Bank of England cut the base rate by 0.50% to 0.25% last week.

They added that some mortgage lenders are pulling tracker rates rather than reducing them.

Saffron Building Society pulled its buy-to-let range yesterday, though the lender indicated that it would re-enter the market later in the year.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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Mortgage lending growth stalled in 2019

Annual gross mortgage lending dropped marginally by 0.4% to £267,552 billion in 2019, the first annual fall since 2010, according to UK Finance.

2018/2019 Annual change in mortgage statistics

Number of house purchase loans20182019% change
   First-time buyers353,000351,000-0.6%
   Homemovers351,000344,000-2.0%
   Buy-to-let landlords72,20069,900-3.2%
   Total776,200764,900-1.5%
Number of mortgage refinances
   Residential – external remortgage456,400445,900-2.3%
   Residential – internal Product Transfers1,178,9001,195,2001.4%
   Buy-to-let – external remortgage178,800177,100-1.0%
 
House Prices (UK average, Q4)214,178215,9250.8%
    
Gross mortgage lending (£ billion)268,720267,552-0.4%
 
Mortgages in arrears82,35075,280-8.6%
Mortgage possessions6,900   8,00015.9%

Source: UK Finance, Nationwide BS, Bank of England

The total number of home purchase loans was down by 1.5% to 764,900 with first-time buyer (FTB) numbers seeing a modest decline of 0.6. This is only 2,000 fewer loans than the ten-year peak of 353,000 seen in 2018.

UK Finance said: “Effectively then, 2019 saw FTB activity stabilise around the ten-year high levels seen in the previous year. Growth rates in FTB lending had in fact been moderating since late 2018, becoming modestly negative from early 2019.”

Shaun Church, director at Private Finance commented: “The fact that first-time buyer numbers fell in all but two English regions last year is a timely reminder for the new Chancellor ahead of his Budget debut next week that the foundations of the property market still need some care and attention.

“The Help to Buy equity loan scheme continues to exist on borrowed time, while homemovers’ struggles to climb up the ladder aren’t doing any favours in terms of freeing up housing stock. Too many people are facing an upwards challenge to upsize, or a downsizing dilemma whereby the sums of money involved can make it difficult to see whether it’s even worth exploring a move.

“After years of watching an increasingly clogged-up market, it’s high time for another round of surgery to stamp duty rules to make moving more practical at both ends of the housing ladder.”

Buy-to-let lending

The buy-to-let (BTL) sector has been affected by tax and regulation changes which continue to dampen activity levels, with the value of new BTL purchase lending falling 4.7% last year and numbers down 3.2% to 69,900.

UK Finance stated: “Whilst still significant, this represents an easing in the rates of decline from those seen in 2017 and 2018 and this easing continued throughout last year.”

Scotland and the North are faring better in the BTL space than other regions, especially the south, with strong rental demand and relatively low property prices – and therefore comparatively attractive returns for landlords.

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of the property lender, Octane Capital, commented: “The buy-to-let market is still on the back foot but the rate of decline definitely slowed during 2019. Many landlords have now adjusted to the new fiscal order and are starting to find their feet again.

“It’s no surprise that the buy-to-let market has proved more resilient in the north where prices are lower and yields more attractive.

“As the search for margin continues, there has been a definite shift in buy-to-let activity away from the capital into the regions in recent years. In the south it can be a lot harder for landlords to make the numbers stack up.”

Remortgaging

Following a year of strong growth in 2018, remortgaging activity to another lender shrank last year. The 445,900 homeowner remortgages represented a 2.3% decline compared to the ten-year high seen in the previous year.

The only growth area among all product types in terms of numbers last year was residential product transfers which rose by 1.4% to 1,195,200.

UK Finance noted: “Almost three quarters now refinance internally, most commonly as their existing deal rate comes to an end, with lenders proactively offering their customers a new deal.

“Just under 1.2 million customers took out a product transfer last year, a relatively modest increase of 1.3 percent on 2018, but more than enough to offset the decline in the external remortgage market. Overall, 1.6 million homeowners took out a new deal last year, 0.4 per cent up on 2018.”

The downturn in remortgage activity is due to the increasing preference by borrowers for longer-term fixed rate deals – mostly for five years.

SVR

The stock of mortgages on standard variable rate has been reducing over recent years. At the end of 2019 there were around 1.3 million homeowner loans on SVR, over 1.1 million fewer than the number four years previously.

SVR mortgages now make up 16% of the outstanding stock, compared to 30% in 2015.

Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker, Coreco, commented: “The number of people on standard variable rates has been falling steadily for several years now as more and more borrowers get wise to how punitive they can be.

“Clearly there’s still a lot of work to be done in educating people around the perils of inertia and lenders need to be more proactive in helping mortgage prisoners off SVRs onto more competitive rates.

“The industry has started to address the issue of mortgage prisoners in earnest and the hope is that we see concerted action soon.”

Arrears and possessions

Last year ended with 75,000 mortgages in arrears – the lowest on record, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of the total stock.

UK Finance said: “The combination of the low interest rate environment and equally benign unemployment figures have continued to drive down the incidence of payment problems, even for those mortgages taken out in the pre-crash years.”

However, 8,000 homes were repossessed in 2019, up from 6,900 the year before – a rise of 15.9%.

Comment

Eric Leenders, managing director, personal finance at UK Finance, commented: “Last year saw a slight fall in levels of mortgage activity for home purchases, largely driven by increasing affordability pressures.

“Meanwhile the remortgage market remains competitive, although the shrinking number of customers coming to the end of their fixed rate deals will start to impact volumes in this segment.”

“While borrowers are benefitting from relatively low rates on unsecured credit, levels of borrowing remain somewhat muted with some people instead opting to increase their mortgage borrowing as a more cost-effective way of managing their finances.”

John Goodall, CEO and co-founder of buy-to-let specialist Landbay, said: “A fall in new mortgage lending is disappointing news for the housing market, but those hoping to see the much-anticipated ‘Boris Bounce’ must wait a little longer.

“We won’t see the impact of any change in decision-making in January until around April, when purchases complete; all eyes will be on the lending levels in Q2 to see whether the decisive election victory has actually impacted sentiment.

Jonathan Sealey, Hope Capital’s CEO, noted: “Over the past few months it has felt as though we were experiencing a real sea change in the market as the political arena became less of a focus.

“We have definitely seen the busiest start to any year so far as people started looking forward to a more stable environment.  Unfortunately, that may well be up in the air again as nervousness surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak takes hold.

“Nonetheless, the country has shown that despite everything we are a resilient lot.  The market held it’s own in 2019 and that’s not something that many would have predicted at the beginning of the year.”

Alan Cleary, group managing director at OneSavings Bank, commented: “For activity to continue at any significant rate, a lot will depend on Chris Pincher, the 10th UK housing minister in 10 years, and Rishi Sunak, as the new chancellor delivers his first budget on March 11th.

“Personally I hope he takes the opportunity to re-assess the 3% surcharge on buy-to-let purchases which has seen rents rise as landlords look to recoup their investment. This of course has had a knock on effect on those renting who are trying hard to save for a deposit.

“When more houses are built, the market will hopefully see a genuine adjustment to average mortgage deposits and the age of first-time buyers.”

There are 28 million residential properties in the UK and over a million sales a year. Mortgages support nine million homeowners and a further 200,000 landlords in the private rented sector.

By Joanne Atkin

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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Leeds cuts rate for first-time buyers

Advisers have welcomed changes made by Leeds Building Society to its high loan-to-value product in a bid to help first-time buyers.

The society made a 0.4 per cent rate reduction on its 95 per cent loan-to-value mortgage.

The no-fee, 2.84 per cent two-year fixed rate mortgage comes with a free standard valuation, and a 1.25 per cent discount at the end of the fixed-rate period, for a further three years.

Matt Bartle, director of products at Leeds Building Society, said: “Our 95 per cent LTV mortgage has been designed with first-time buyers in mind, and this latest rate reduction will be very appealing to those looking to get onto the property ladder this year.

“With no completion fee, and free valuation as standard, we’re helping to keep costs down.

“We understand the importance of affordable housing, which is why we’re always looking for ways to help buyers with smaller deposits, alongside Help to Buy and Shared Ownership mortgages, which complement our range of deals at higher LTVs.”

Advisers called the building society’s mortgage rate changes “one to watch” and welcomed the move, although expressed caution in the uncertain economic environment.

Adam Hosker, founder of Bespoke Finance, said: “Leeds Building Society is always one to watch. A high street lender that is innovating on a solid product foundation. With further movements expected, the team is always eager to read Leeds’ updates.”

Martin Stewart, founder of London Money, commented: “It is a good rate and will get Leeds very close to the top of the best buy tables. Lenders are always tweaking their rates and sometimes they are up and other times down.

“We are still in a very benign interest rate environment so changes either way are often minuscule. It’s one thing having cheap money though and another thing altogether being able to borrow it.

“I have always been wary of high LTV products and even more so in the current environment where the Boris bounce could easily become a dead cat one overnight.”

Sebastian Reimann, mortgage, protection and equity release adviser for Libra Financial, agreed. He said: “This is great news although I see little demand for high LTV products. The sweet spot is probably at around 85 per cent LTV now, although I appreciate that’s not an option for everyone.”

By Simoney Kyriakou

Source: FT Adviser

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UK mortgage approvals jump as political uncertainty eases

Mortgage approvals have risen to their highest level since February 2016, data published by the Bank of England on Monday showed.

The central bank said there were 70,888 mortgage approvals for house purchase in January, a 4.4% improvement on December’s figure and the highest for 47 months. It was also comfortably above analyst expectations for around 68,000.

Remortgage rates also grew, by 3.9% to 52,100.

Net mortgage borrowing by households, which lags approvals, was £4.0bn, slightly below the £4.3bn six-month average. The annual growth rate for mortgage borrowing remained at 3.4%.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said: “The data very much fuels the view that the housing market is currently benefiting markedly from increased confidence and reduced uncertainties following December’s general election.

“A stream of recent data and surveys suggest that the housing market has shifted up a gear after a lacklustre 2019, with particular softness around the third quarter.

“Certainly there is compelling evidence that the housing market has benefited from increased optimism and reduced uncertainties following December’s decisive general election, as well as a greater near-term clarity on Brexit.

“We had been expecting the housing market to continue to benefit in the near term from reduced uncertainties, but it is possible that concerns and uncertainties over the coronavirus outbreak could have an impact.

“We currently expect house prices to 3% over 2020.”

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “The effective interest rate on all new mortgages dropped to 1.85%, from 1.88% in December, remaining well below the effective rate on the outstanding stock. As a result, the refinancing tailwind to growth in household’s disposable incomes remains on track to strengthen modestly this year. Lower mortgage rates also have underpinned the recover in house purchase mortgage approvals in January.”

The Bank also reported on Monday that the annual growth rate of consumer credit – defined as credit used by consumers to buy goods and services – remained at 6.1% in January. That represented growth of £1.2bn, above both the average seen over the last six months and the consensus, both of which were £1.0bn. The Bank said the rate was “stabilising after the downward trend seen over past three years”.

By Abigail Townsend

Source: ShareCast

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Mortgage approvals surge to four-year high: BoE

Mortgage purchase approvals rose by 4.4% between December and January to 70,900 – the highest figure seen since February 2016, according to the latest Money and Credit statistics from the Bank of England.

Approvals for remortgage also rose on the month, by 3.9%, to 52,100.

Net mortgage borrowing – which lags approvals – by households was £4.0 billion in January, slightly below the £4.3 billion average seen over the past six months.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “The highest rate of mortgage approvals in almost three years and particularly so early in the year is yet further proof, if it were ever needed, that buyers are returning in their droves following December’s election result.

It is this huge influx of demand that has seen prices increase at such notable rates of late and as a result, the market is now in the best shape it’s been since the EU Referendum itself.

Not only are seeing performance exceed expectations but there is a very real chance of an interest rate cut on the horizon, which will further boost buyer sentiment, borrowing, and overall market performance.”

Vikki Jefferies, proposition director at Primis, commented: “With the support of a professional, borrowers will be better-informed on how to manage their finances in the long-run and are less likely to fall into a mortgage deal that could leave them financially worse off.

“Advisers are also a big help for clients whose circumstances change during their term, having the resources to be able to offer customers a better deal that aligns with their new financial situation.”

By ROZI JONES

Source: Financial Reporter

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Mortgage product numbers rise by 9.3%

The number of mortgage products available on the market has risen by 9.3% over the past 12 months to a record high of 14,437, according to the latest data from Mortgage Brain.

Within this increase of 1,233 products, remortgage deals saw the strongest growth, with product numbers increasing by 7.4% to a total of 9,718.

Despite the upheaval seen in the buy-to-let sector in recent years, the number of products for landlords to choose from has still grown by 4.5% since February 2019 to 4,263.

Product numbers rose across all LTV bands, with deals available at an LTV of 70% or more seeing the sharpest uplift.

There are 9,350 deals to choose from at this level, an increase of 15.1% since February 2019.

At the other end of the scale, the number of products available to borrowers at 90% LTV has grown by 3.2% over this time period.

Looking over a three-year period the rise in products is even more significant, with the total number of mortgage deals on the market jumping by 72.7%.

This rise is most pronounced in buy-to-let, with product numbers rising by 2,007 (89%).

Mark Lofthouse, chief executive officer of Mortgage Brain, said: “Mortgage borrowers are the big beneficiaries of the heightened competition within the mortgage market now, with a greater level of choice than ever before.

“What’s more, this increase isn’t limited to a single area of the market, with products of all types and across all LTV bands seeing an uplift over the last year.

“The sheer number of deals to choose from demonstrates the value provided by mortgage brokers in helping their clients navigate these competitive waters.

“But they too need to think carefully about what technology they can use to help them sift through the many home loans lenders have on offer.”

By Jessica Nangle

Source: Mortgage Introducer