Mortgage products availability highest since credit crunch

The number of mortgage products now available to borrowers has risen to pre-banking crisis levels for the first time.

There are now 3,050 mortgages available, close to the 3,250 mark that was on offer in February 2008.

During the peak of the economic downturn the number of mortgage products fell to just over 1,000.

Now, with the number of mortgages on the market having almost tripled, there are signs of increasing competition among mortgage lenders.

Steady banking recovery, combined with falling house prices over the last two years has encouraged both lenders and buyers. However although an increased number of mortgages is a good sign, the market remains fragile and banks are cautious of lending.

Before the credit crunch customers with a 10% deposit or less had a wider variety of choice for mortgages, now those with such as small deposit have significantly fewer mortgage options.

Recently, Aldermore Bank launched a 100% mortgage, which allows buyers to borrow the full value of their property without putting any cash down. It is the first lender to offer a new mortgage at 100% since the financial crisis.

Northern Rock, well known for offering a large number of loan-value (LTV) mortgages prior to the credit crunch has recently launched a range of loans aimed at first time buyers with a 10% deposit.

 High street banks gross mortgage lending increased by 5% in the 6 months up to August, according to the British Bankerís Association.  The figure increased from £7.8bn in July to £8.2 bn in August. There were 78,288 mortgage approvals made in August representing a 3% increased compared to the same time last year.

Average mortgage repayment rates have fallen to an all time low and deposits are easing for potential buyers, but it could be some time before the mortgage market reaches pre credit crunch levels of competition.
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