Fixed Rate  

Fixed rate mortgage availability reaches 12-year high

Fixed rate mortgage availability reaches 12-year high

The number of fixed rate residential mortgages available has reached a record high, as competition among lenders remains rife. 

According to data from the Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury report, fixed rate mortgages across most loan to value tiers surpassed numbers seen since July 2007 when records began.

The past month has seen 33 fixed rate mortgage products being made available to residential buyers.

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Compared with this time last year, the total number of residential mortgages available has risen by 644, from 4,570 to 5,214.

Availability within the 60 per cent LTV tier increased the most in the past month, rising from 459 to 488. 

Meanwhile, the number of products in the 90 per cent and 95 per cent LTV tiers rose by 26 and 27 respectively between January and February. 

Darren Cook, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: "Our recent research has already highlighted that competition on fixed mortgage interest rates among providers is rife at higher LTVs, as we have seen the average two-year fixed mortgage rate at maximum 95 per cent LTV fall by 0.54 per cent from 3.95 per cent in August 2018 to 3.41 per cent this month, while the average rate at maximum 60 per cent LTV fell by 0.02 per cent over the same period.

"This increased choice is more good news for first-time buyers this month, with rates dropping as a result of intense competition at these tiers."

He added: "In February 2009, when the ramifications of the financial crisis were still being assessed, borrowers only had three products to choose from if they could only muster a 5 per cent deposit.

"The mortgage lending environment has changed considerably since the [regulator] introduced its clear affordability guidelines and today, a borrower seeking a 95 per cent LTV mortgage has instead a total 325 mortgage products to choose from."

Daniel Bailey, principal at Middleton Finance, said: "The start of the year has seen an extremely busy start with lending for first time buyers, home movers and clients looking to remortgage in demand. 

"Lenders have been responding to this on a weekly basis with new products, rate cuts and more incentives for borrowers.

"This has not been exclusively for borrowers with larger deposits. A number of lenders have been cutting rates over the last few weeks for borrowers with smaller deposits. Competition amongst lenders is good news for borrowers."

The Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury Report is set for publication later this month and provides an in-depth monthly review of today’s mortgage landscape.