According to Moneyfacts, product choice is now at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic
Mortgage options for borrowers are continuing on an upward trajectory as new data reveals the number of deals now stands at 4,243.
Figures out today from Moneyfacts.co.uk show product choice is now at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic having risen for the eighth consecutive month.
Moreover, those with smaller deposits appear to have benefited the most as options in the 95% loan-to-value (LTV) tier surged. In fact, since last month, a further 80 new deals have been added to this sector of the market.
When it comes to rates, however, the offerings were mixed. While some lenders have launched sub-1% deals, there are loan-to-value tiers where rate averages are above those recorded this time last year.
Moneyfacts said growth in the number of higher LTV, higher rate deals and rate rises in the mid-LTV tiers fuelled increases to the overall two and five-year fixed rate averages once again, now 2.59% and 2.82% respectively.
However, compared to June 2019 a five-year fixed rate is on average 0.03% lower now.
Meanwhile, Moneyfacts also revealed how the average shelf life of a mortgage deal dropped.
This meant prospective borrowers have just 28 days to secure their chosen deal, indicating that speed and preparation may be key in ensuring they were able to bag their preferred option.
The data comes as UK Finance recorded the highest number of house purchase advances since August 2007, and also showed FTB advances, at 42,330, were the highest on record.
Eleanor Williams, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: 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.
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 5% deposit is even harder now, she added.
As well as changes in the top LTV tiers, rate competition has become evident at the opposite extreme of the LTV spectrum, with a number of lenders launching eye-catching sub-1% mortgage deals in the lowest LTV brackets, Williams continued.
She said these record-low rates are available to low-risk borrowers with high levels of equity, but as to whether this competition will extend to higher-LTV deals remains to be seen as we navigate the full economic impact of the last year.
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