Lending to low-deposit buyers rising: esurv

The latest mortgage monitor research from chartered surveyor esurv revealed that there were 8185 high loan-to-value loans rubberstamped in September, 11 per cent more than in August and a high not seen since the housing crash in 2008.

Even before the government rolled out its flagship Help to Buy scheme this month, e.surv found that overall lending was at a post-recession high, with 68,212 loans issued to buyers last month. By comparison, that figure was 36 per cent lower at only 49,987 last September.

Regionally, there was stronger high LTV lending in the North last month, as a quarter of all loans in the North East and Cumbria were approved for borrowers with a deposits of 15 per cent or less. But in London, only 9 per cent of its overall lending was targeted at high LTV borrowers.

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Richard Sexton, director of esurv chartered surveyors, said that Help to Buy could “floor the accelerator” in the housing market’s recovery.

He added: “Help to Buy is important for the whole country. Lending levels and house sales may be recovering, but first-time buyer numbers are still short of their pre-2008 levels.”

Andrew Montlake, director for London-based Coreco, said: “If the aim [of Help to Buy] were to increase demand, confidence in mortgage availability and generate activity, help to buy seems to be doing the job. Whether it translates into more people actually getting a property they can afford remains to be seen.

“We all need a healthy, sustainable housing market and, let’s face it, government intervention in the housing market has never been a happy adventure in days gone by. Even if this does work well and house prices are kept in check, there is a danger that this becomes a drug that we cannot bear to give up.”