Almost 1,000 mortgage products were launched in January, accor-ding to Mortgage Brain, which says this represents the biggest monthly increase in product numbers for a year.
The number of live products listed on Mortgage Brain rose by 26% in the month, going from 3,534 on January 4 to 4,457 on February 1.
This is the seventh month in a row that product availability has risen, with the number of deals up 78% on six months ago.
The number of tracker deals jumped a massive 40% in the month, from 1,029 at the beginning of January to 1,434. But fixed rates remain the domi-nant product, up 24% to 2,664.
Variable rate deals saw a slight increase to 359 products from 354.
Mark Loft-house, chief executive officer of Mortgage Brain, says: “We are seeing a fantastic start to the year, with mortgage product availability on the increase across the board.
“We have just witnessed the big-gest monthly rise for 12 months which is a great achievement, and we’re continuing to see a healthy introduction of trackers, fixed and variable rate products.”
And Richard Morea, technical manager at London & Country, says it is starting to see lenders being more competitive in the higher LTV market.
Morea says: “We have recently started to see lenders competing more in the 80% to 85% LTV market, whereas in the past few months we have only been seeing this in the 60% to 65% LTV space.
“It’s not unusual to see lenders increase their product ranges at the beginning of a year and this is a positive sign for 2010.”
Meanwhile, last week Alliance & Leicester Intermediary Sales unveiled a range of two-year fixed rate products and a two-year tracker deal at 1.84%.
The tracker product is available at Bank of England base rate plus 1.34% up to 70% LTV. It comes with a 2% fee