10 September 2010

Better options for customers.

The Bank of China this week has increased the amount they will lend compared to the property value. Residential mortgages are now offered to 80% Loan to Value (LTV), Buy to Lets up to 75% LTV and Commercial mortgages up to 70% LTV. Positive moves from a lender who distribute their mortgage products through their branch network and only five other distributors in the UK, of which AToM are one. They will also consider First Time Buyers, Home Movers and Remortgage applications. Unlike some other lenders, Bank of China will also look at flats above shops, houses of multi occupancy, new build properties and freehold flats. Some (good) potentially useful niches. We find them incredibly helpful to deal with and they have some very competitive rates.

The Nationwide House Price Index has suggested that house prices dropped by 0.9% in August, with the average house price now at £166,500. This is the second month in a row Nationwide have reported a house price decrease. Let’s hope this is not the start of a trend and stabilises shortly; although it is probable that the lower level of activity over the summer is reflected in these reported figures.

The number of mortgage products appear to be on the increase. New products being launched in August far exceeded the same period last year according to one of the industries leading sourcing systems, Mortgage Brain. In August 2009, just 5 new mortgage products were launched, however in August 2010, some 1,500 products were launched. This is good news and despite some products being withdrawn and re-launched with revised rates, 350 products were completely new. Fixed rate product offerings increased by 31%, whereas Tracker products decreased by 5%. The system also reports the total number of products available to the mortgage market now stands at around 7,600!

Is the appetite for mortgage lending beginning to reappear? Despite the inevitable doldrums reported by the national press, we’re hearing some great rumours that lenders will make a big push to lend in the last quarter of this year. Fingers crossed!

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