Business

Mortgage availability figures show shift

Mortgage application form
Image caption The mortgage market has been very low-key recently

The cost of mortgages is continuing to fall and they are becoming more accessible to some borrowers, according to figures from Moneyfacts.

Data from September shows that the number of home loans available with a 20% deposit has risen, but availability has dropped for those offering 40%.

This is a shift in the trend seen in recent months which has seen the best rates offered to those able to pay the largest deposits.

However, take-up of loans remains slow.

Deposits

Moneyfacts, a financial information service, said that the number of mortgages available to people offering a deposit of 10% or less remained small.

This has ruled some potential first-time buyers out of entering the property market and is very different to the situation seen during the housing boom earlier in the decade.

However, for those able to raise a deposit of 20%, the choice rose sharply to 352 mortgage products in September, compared with 326 in the previous month and 166 at the start of the year.

In contrast, the number of mortgage products on the market for those with a 40% deposit stood at 234 in September. This was the lowest number since the start of 2009.

"When banks increase the level that they are willing to lend against the value of a property, this usually means that risk increases and rates go up," said Darren Cook of Moneyfacts.

"But we are seeing average mortgage rates continue with their slow decline and this could indicate that lenders are getting to grips with the threats of a new mortgage environment.

"Unfortunately this is still not filtering through to increase the number of mortgages approved and the market remains stagnant."

The latest figures from the Bank of England showed that show that the number of mortgages approved for UK home buyers was barely changed in July at 48,722.

Net mortgage lending rose by only £86m in July, one of the lowest monthly increases on record.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites