Number of mortgage deals soars to eight-year high

Number of mortgage deals soars to eight-year high

The number of mortgage products available reached an eight-year high at 17,132 in January, according to national advisory firm Mortgage Advice Bureau.

This represents the greaest number of deals available since March 2008 (23,802).

January’s total number of mortgage products represented an annual increase of more than a third, increasing from 12,771 in January 2015.

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The number of products distributed through brokers has seen a much greater annual increase compared to direct-only products, making up 71 per cent of the total product range in January, and have remained at this level for the last five months.

According to the Mortgage Advice Bureau, borrowers in January opted for caution with a greater proportion choosing fixed rate products than a year earlier.

This was particularly true among remortgage borrowers, with the proportion opting for a fixed rate increasing from 87.5 per cent to 91 per cent annually.

According to LMS, remortgaging hit a seven-year high in January, with a value of £6.2bn, the largest amount since November 2008.

More than 36,600 people remortgaged in January 2016, the highest number since July 2009 and up 49 per cent from December, and the average remortgage loan size hit an all-time high of £170,319.

Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said: “With rising house prices, interest rates at historic lows and a host of competitive products available to choose from, growth is likely to continue even after the stamp duty panic dispels.

“Swap rates are also expected to decrease in mid to late February, lowering the lenders’ costs of loans further and boosting competitive offers.”

In the Autumn Statement, chancellor George Osborne announced a 3 per cent premium on stamp duty for buy-to-let investors and those buying second homes, aimed at raising £1bn by 2021.

In December HM Treasury stated higher rates of stamp duty will only apply to purchases of additional residential property which complete on or after 1 April 2016.

Simon Webster, managing director of Facts & Figures: Chartered Financial Planners, said: “The plethora of new mortgage products indicates the resurgence in the UK housing market and is in line with our experience with clients on a day-to-day basis.

“It will be interesting to see whether this increased level of activity the market continues in the new tax year when the stamp duty increases for buy-to-let landlords comes into full force.”