Charcol says January was slow

The January mortgage market was dominated by subdued mortgage activity, low LTVs and low income multiples, says John Charcol.

Katie Tucker, technical manager for Charcol, says: “January was made up almost entirely of the ‘bread and butter’ mortgages: the ones for which demand rarely falls. However, according to the Charcol Mortgage Monitor, in February; all mortgagor types are more active.”

The broker says 52% of all borrowers took fixed rates in February which is high compared to the more recent norm of around 33%.

Remortgages for buy-to-lets were also up in February compared to January, but Charcol says new purchases for buy-to-lets remained low.

Tucker adds: “First time buyers bounced back, and made up 10% of mortgage applicants this month, as they took advantage of the last of the high loan-to-value deals. This more than doubled the 4.5% of buyers that were first-timers in January.

“First-time-buyers continue to have to take large mortgages, and the average first time buyer borrowed 80% of their property value, compared to other purchasers whose loan to value was 74%.”