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Mortgage choice is up, but so are average rates

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12/01/2021
Mortgage availability has risen for six months in a row, with more deals on offer to first-time buyers
Mortgage choice is up, but so are average rates

The number of mortgage products rose for the third month in a row to reach 2,893, according to Moneyfacts.

The financial information provider said this is the highest number since April 2020, when the impact of the pandemic was first beginning to be felt.

First-time buyer boost

The largest monthly growth in availability was in mortgages up to 90% of the property’s value, where the number of products almost doubled to 160.

Borrowers with higher levels of equity or deposit have also seen a rise in products. Those with a 25% deposit or equity stake have seen an increase in mortgages to 629 deals, the highest level seen since July 2020.

Rising rates

It’s not all good news for borrowers though – the average two-year fixed rate increased for the sixth consecutive month, rising by 0.03% to 2.52% – its highest level since January 2019, said Moneyfacts.

The equivalent five-year average fixed rate also increased this month to 2.71%.

Eleanor Williams, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “This improvement in options for mortgage borrowers has occurred at a time when high levels of borrower demand have been fuelled by those hoping to benefit from the stamp duty holiday and by those who re-evaluated what they want from a home and were part of the unleashed demand that arose after the first lockdown in 2020.

“As we navigate our way through another period of restrictions, this time the property market is expected to remain open for business. However, with timescales for processing mortgages potentially subject to delays, and with the average shelf life for mortgages remaining at just 28 days, it has possibly never been more vital to call upon the knowledge and help of a qualified adviser to progress any applications and explore what may be the best option for their circumstances.”

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