Mortgage product choice has reached a near eight-year high, according to the latest national mortgage index from Mortgage Advice Bureau.
The firm says there were 17,132 products available on the market on average in January – the highest number seen since March 2008 (23,802).
January’s total number of products is up 34 per cent year-on-year, from 12,771 in January 2015.
The number of products distributed through brokers has seen a much higher annual increase compared to direct-only products.
The average number of broker-only products increased by 42 per cent from 8,555 in January 2015 to 12,180 last month, while the number of direct-only products increased 17 per cent in the same period from 4,217 to 4,952.
Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy says: “Not only are mortgage products increasingly affordable, with a sustained period of low interest driving down mortgage rates, but consumer choice is continually improving. Every borrower is different, so having a greater number of mortgage products available means they are more likely to find the perfect mortgage for their particular needs.
“The intermediary share of the mortgage market has gone from strength to strength in recent years. The new affordability criteria and stress tests introduced as a result of MMR make applying for a mortgage a more time consuming process. It no longer makes sense to spend this time talking to just one provider when you could be researching the whole market with an independent broker. Lenders that have historically opted not to distribute through brokers have now changed their stance to reflect this.”