Mortgage products pass 12,000 to reach five-year high
November’s 12,032 products were more than three times the total available in April 2009 (3,867) when Mortgage Advice Bureau began tracking these figures.
Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “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.
“The variety of options – both with and without the benefit of government support – may be confusing to first time buyers and anyone with limited experience of getting a mortgage. For this reason, brokers have a vital role to play by looking beyond the headline rates and finding the best deal for each customer’s circumstances.
“Many lenders are busy getting to grips with Help to Buy, the end of the Funding for Lending Scheme and changes to mortgage regulations next year. The fact lenders are increasingly working with brokers is welcome news for the home-buying public, who can make use of impartial advice to find the best deal from a wider selection of products.”
Using data from more than 500 brokers and 800 estate agents, the Index shows activity slowing slightly as Christmas approaches, with 10% fewer mortgage applications in November than October after an 18% surge between September and October.
Monthly application levels still remained 45% higher than in November last year, with 37% more applications in the first eleven months of 2013 than in the whole of 2012. Last year’s total was surpassed in September.
The growth in mortgage product numbers was fuelled by a 6% monthly rise in the range available via brokers. This grew for the fifth successive month to 8,961, representing 74% of the total product range.
In contrast, the direct-only product range fell for the second time in the last three months. November’s total of 3,071 direct-only products was 4% lower than in October and 6% lower than in August.
This continues a trend over the last twelve months for a greater volume of mortgage products to be offered to consumers through brokers.
Using data on mortgage rates from moneyfacts.co.uk, the Index shows average two year tracker rates reached 2.89% in November – the lowest in over five years since MAB began tracking this data (in June 2007).
With average two and three year fixed rates increasing slightly in November, it meant two year tracker rates have fallen further since January 2013 than fixed rates on either two, three or five year products.