Mortgage products up 19 per cent in UK

The number of available mortgage products has grown by almost one fifth in the last year, reaching their highest level since the 2008 recession

The Mortgage Advice Bureau revealed that 13,539 residential and buy to let mortgage products have come onto the market since April 2014.

This represents an annual increase of 19 per cent and highlights the strong competition that exists in the UK’s mortgage markets.

Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau, said that many customers have benefitted from record low mortgage rates as product availability continues to improve.

He suggested that affordability conditions are now better for consumers and are driven by a “low-interest rate environment” and other initiatives such as the stamp duty reforms.

Buy to let mortgage market

While the above figures show considerable growth in the number of total mortgage products, data has also shown particular growth in the buy to let market at the start of this year.

The Complex Buy to Let Index from Mortgages for Business, which tracks transaction information relating to vanilla buy to let, Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), multi-unit freehold blocks and semi-commercial property, reported an average of 839 products from 31 lenders in Q1 2015.

This was up on the 817 products available from 29 lenders in Q4 2014 but also showed considerable growth from Q2 and Q3 when there were only 637 and 707 products available respectively.

Competition for buy to let products is therefore high, although the value of loans and properties did show some signs of decline in Q1.

Strong performance continues

The strong performance noted in the UK property market comes one year after the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review and suggests the change was not as disruptive as expected.

Mr Murphy believes that the outlook for all mortgage markets is positive but was quick to warn potential house-buyers, landlords and investors that low housing supply could slow proceedings in the future.

Despite this caution, total mortgage applications have shown no sign of abating and were up 22 per cent year on year this April.