Mortgage numbers have fallen 47% during lockdown
Buyers might find it harder to secure a mortgage than a home, according to Defaqto, which recorded a 47% fall in the number of available mortgage products during the pandemic.
The financial information provider said the mortgage market has shrunk during lockdown. For example, in March this year, there were 189 remortgage products at 90% per cent of the property’s value, but today there are only 34. This means that borrowers will have fewer options to choose from and may find lenders are more picky about applicants meeting their criteria. And there are currently no 95% deals available to borrowers with just 5% upfront.
The number of fixed products available for remortgage customers has also shrunk from 1,003 in March to 657 today, meaning borrowers will have less choice and may need to work harder to satisfy lenders’ criteria. However, they may be able to save hundreds of pounds a month by doing so, Defaqto said.
Despite fewer mortgage products available now than before lockdown, rates are still hugely competitive, with the Base Rate now at an all-time low of 0.1%.
Katie Brain, banking expert at Defaqto, said: “For those looking to get on the housing ladder, this could offer a rare opportunity to get a home at a good price and get cheap finance on it too. While buyers and sellers will need to follow government guidelines to ensure viewings are done safely, this could be a real opportunity for some.
“For homeowners looking to cut costs, this could be a good time to remortgage. The range of products available has shrunk but the rates are at an all-time low, which could translate to some serious savings for those looking to fix. We are still in such uncertain times and anyone looking to apply for a mortgage should speak to a financial adviser who can assess their needs and recommend an appropriate product.”