Despite being in a Pandemic and in Lockdown, the number of mortgage deals has reached its highest level since March last year.
This news will be music to the ears of First-Time Buyers, many of whom have struggled to contend with high rates and disappearing deals in recent months. However, Stephen Kerrigan, a mortgage advisor in Doncaster explains what’s happening to the market and analyses whether it really is getting easier to get a mortgage.
Some new data suggests that mortgage availability has improved for the fourth consecutive month, handing a boost to home buyers and Remortgages. The 3,215 deals currently on the market is the highest recorded since last March, when a huge 5,222 mortgages were available.
However, since October, the number of mortgages on offer has risen by 42%, with low-deposit 90% deals leading the recent charge. So, what has this meant for rates? Well, Stephen Kerrigan says average rates are still rising slightly, with two-year deals now having seen seven consecutive months of increases.
The good news is that the speed of these rises is slowing down, meaning lower rates could be around the corner.
At 2.53%, the two-year fixed overall average rate is now 0.11% higher year-on-year, while the five-year equivalent at 2.73% is equal to where it sat in February 2020. While these rates have risen again, the increases are of just 0.01% and 0.02% this month, which may be a sign of the start of some stability in the market.
The good news for buyers and Remortgages is that the best mortgage rates are very low for people with bigger deposits or significant equity in their homes. At 60% loan-to-value, you can get a two-year fix with a rate of below 1.2%.
These deals are only slightly more expensive than the best rates recorded before the pandemic, although there is one drawback – the cheapest deals now come with high up-front fees of up to £1,499.
First-Time Buyers have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 mortgage cull, but 90% mortgages have enjoyed something of a resurgence of late. The bad news is that rates remain high, with the cheapest two-year fix around 1.5% higher before the pandemic.