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Sharp rise in mortgage choice for homebuyers

The number of mortgage products has continued to rise, with the volume of deals on the market having increased by 61% in just five years, according to new data released by Moneyfacts.

Since April 2009, when the number of products on the mortgage market hit an all-time low of 1,209, the residential mortgage market has seen product numbers grow substantially, with the volume of live deals now stood at 4,657, which is up on the 3,814 products available in August 2016 and almost 2,000 higher than the number of products on the market five years ago.

This month’s boost to product numbers represents 15 months of consecutive increases in residential mortgages, according to the Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury Report, which provides an in-depth monthly review of changing mortgage trends, including all the relevant facts on the UK’s residential and buy-to-let markets.

Apr-09

Aug-12

Aug-16

Aug-17

Total number of mortgage products

1,209

2,888

3,814

4,657

Source: Moneyfacts

       

Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “The numbers this month were boosted by several lenders entering the three-year fixed rate market, which saw the number of three-year fixed rate deals increase by 48 products to 439.

“With the two-year fixed rate sector still seeing heavy competition, providers are starting to look elsewhere, and the three-year fixed rate market offers providers an opportunity that some have used to branch out.

“The talk of an impending base rate rise means that borrowers are starting to look at their options to protect themselves from a potential rise in monthly repayments. Since a five-year fixed rate can be too long for some, a three-year deal can bridge the gap for those wary of fixing for longer. Providers, knowing this, are tapping into this previously underdeveloped market.

“With the average three-year fixed rate standing at 2.54% in August, borrowers will need to decide whether the extra year’s security is worth a 0.31% premium compared to the average two-year rate of 2.23%.

“The boost in product numbers has given borrowers another type of choice, and that can only be a good thing. However, with such a large variety now within reach, it is important that borrowers seek the advice of a financial adviser to ensure they get the best deal for them.”

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