The choice of mortgages for residential property buyers in the UK is now three times bigger than in 2009, with 12,000 products on the market. This figure marks a five-year high for the industry, according to the National Mortgage Index from Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB). The 12,032 products seen in November stood at over three times the total available in April 2009, when the MAB began tracking the figures.
According to the index, data from more than 500 brokers and 800 estate agents was used, with the research showing activity slowing slightly. There were ten per cent fewer mortgage applications in November than October. This came after a surge of 18 per cent between September and October. Despite this, monthly applications remained elevated, standing 45 per cent higher than in November 2012. There were 37 per cent more applications in the first 11 months of 2013 than in the whole of 2012, and last year's entire mortgage applications were surpassed during September.
The growth in mortgage product numbers was boosted by a six per cent monthly increase in the range available from brokers. It marked the fifth consecutive rise in five months and represents 74 per cent of the total product range, with 8,961 products available via these channels. Brian Murphy, head of lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau, commented: "More products keep arriving on the market, and anyone looking to buy a home or remortgage has the added bonus of attractive rates to choose from despite speculation about how long the discount season will last."
He noted that the vast range of options could be confusing for first time buyers or anyone who does not have much experience when it comes to mortgages, which is why brokers have a "vital role to play" by finding the best deal for each customer's individual circumstances.
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- Tuesday 07 January 2014