In light of the latest CML lending figures, which show lending figures on the increase over the summer, Bradford & Bingley has commented that the mortgage flurry it predicted has now begun.
Duncan Pownall, mortgage development manager for Bradford & Bingley, says: “This month’s figures paint a much more encouraging picture than some of the recent industry reports. Gross lending has increased to 27.5bn, up 9% on July’s figures. The most significant change has been the uplift in remortgaging, which increased by 15% to 11.7billion, its highest level since October 2003.
“Clearly the remortgage flurry, which we predicted, has now begun and consumers have been taking advantage of lenders desperate to gain market share. The array of attractive deals now available has meant borrowers can avoid a nasty hike in their monthly payments as they come off the cheap two-year fixes of 2003.”
In regards to the increase in home purhchasing activity, Pownall adds: “Whilst lending for home purchases accounted for 45% of total lending, a slight drop from July’s figure of 47%, the number of loans taken is estimated to have risen to 101,000, an increase of over 5000 during a traditionally quieter month. This demonstrates an optimistic increase in activity in the housing market.
“This optimism is also reflected in RICS’s most recent monthly report, revealing increased buyer enquiries and predicting renewed confidence in housing across London, the North and North West, Wales and Yorkshire and Humberside.
“However, with first time buyer numbers still hovering at the 30% mark, it is these all-important purchasers at the bottom of the ladder that should remain top of the agenda. They need to be enticed to the market in order to keep it fluid in the higher rungs.”
The CML figures also show more fixes than ever. Pownall says: “As the average price of fixes continues to decline from 5.31% last month to 5.23%, so we see their popularity grow to represent 54% of total lending, the highest proportion since CML records began.
“Although many borrowers on discounted or tracker products will now be benefiting from the recent reduction in base rate, many lenders had already priced this into their recent selection of fixed products. As ever though, it is important that borrowers take advice when choosing a mortgage to ensure that they get the deal that is best suited to them and not just the deal with the lowest headline rate.”