More providers are competing in the 95 per cent loan to value market than ever before, according to new research.
The latest figures from Moneyfacts showed 60 providers now included a 95 per cent LTV product in their residential mortgage range.
This was up from 53 providers in April of last year and was 13 more lenders than in 2014. Ten years ago, only three providers offered loans to buyers with a 5 per cent deposit.
The increase in the number of 95 per cent LTV products — up from 246 last year to 338 this year — has forced the rates on such products down, according to Moneyfacts.
Since April 2018, the average two-year fixed mortgage rate decreased from 4.01 per cent to 3.28 per cent. The average five-year fixed rate fell 0.71 per cent.
Number of providers
Number of fixed rate products
Number of variable rate products
Ave two-year fixed rate (95% LTV)
Ave five-year fixed rate (95% LTV)
Darren Cook, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: "A decade ago, borrowers who could only raise a 5 per cent deposit had just three products from three mortgage providers to choose from.
"Today, a borrower has the choice between 405 products available from a total of 60 providers. Furthermore, no variable products at the 95 per cent LTV tier were available at all, whereas 10 years on, borrowers have 67 variable products to consider."
Mr Cook said it could only be good news for borrowers that lenders were becoming more open to lending at a 95 per cent LTV.
"There clearly seems to be a positive drive by mortgage providers to try and secure the business of potential first-time buyers who are the lifeblood of the mortgage market and it is encouraging to see rates decrease because of this healthy competition," he said.
Rachel Lummis, adviser at Xpress Mortgages, said: "The Moneyfacts data showing the number of residential mortgage providers that now have a 95 per cent product in their range is great news for first-time buyers.
"Over the last decade, getting a high loan to value mortgage such as 95 per cent was not easy as it was rarely offered by lenders and those that did have 95 per cent products available were often on a special scheme that didn’t always suit the borrower."
But Ms Lummis said further improvement could still be made to the product range that was currently on offer and stressed that lenders needed to have a product transfer service to offer these customers for when they got to the end of their deal.
She added: "It would also be most welcome if 95 per cent products were available on remortgages and not just purchases."
Ms Lummis said buyers should make sure they choose the best overall option when deciding on a mortgage, not just looking at the initial rate but also comparing the product and lender.
She said: "Anyone looking to purchase their first property should seek advice from a whole of market mortgage adviser. The main high street lenders have great rates but there are many smaller banks and building societies that have competitive rates too, so it’s important to compare the many lenders and products available."