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Sharp fall in mortgage prisoner households

Written by: Paul Robertson
There has been a sharp fall in the number of households unable to remortgage, according to Countrywide

Rising house prices and increased availability to higher loan-to-value (LTV) lending has meant just 5% of mortgaged households were unable to pass tighter lending criteria in September, down from 9% a year ago.

Countrywide said, in the last year, just over 400,000 households have found themselves no longer mortgage prisoners and as a result have been able to cut their mortgage payments.

In London and the South East, less than 0.1% of households are in a position where they do not have sufficient equity to remortgage.

Nigel Stockton, financial services director at Countrywide, said: “This fall has been driven by both rising house prices but also improved access to credit from lenders.

“While a lender typically required a household looking to remortgage to hold equity of at least 15% immediately after 2008, since the latter part of 2013 we’ve seen this figure fall to 10%.”

A remortgaging household in 2014 saw their monthly payments fall by an average of £115 per month, equivalent to 12% of the total monthly mortgage payment.

The average remortgaging household secured an interest rate 1.1% below their existing deal, while households coming off longer fixed rate mortgages saw their mortgage payment fall considerably more.

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