Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lucrative Mortgage Deals Now Available

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lucrative Mortgage Deals Now Available

Article excerpt

Byline: Vicky Robson

HIGH-STREET lenders are introducing more and more lucrative mortgage offers amid fresh figures suggesting the market has hit a two-year high.

A total of 55,300 loans were advanced for house purchases in August, worth a total of PS8.4bn, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This is an 11% increase on the same time last year and the largest number of loans advanced since July 2010.

North East property experts say the statistics are a welcome indicator of an improving housing market but must not be overestimated given the drop in marketplace activity since the start of the recession.

Richard Sayer, of Rook Matthews Sayer, explains: "Mortgage lending has dropped almost two-thirds from five years ago.

"It had dropped massively by 2008/09, so yes, it is picking up and that is encouraging, but you have to realise that the numbers were much lower than what they would be in what we might call a 'normal' market. What is encouraging is that there are new mortgage products coming into the market to help people to buy new houses where lenders had been putting difficult criteria on the surveyors.

"Also, I wouldn't say lending criteria has been relaxed, but they are looking at it on a more case-bycase basis. There were a lot of blanket rejections, like 'You're too young, you haven't been in your job long enough'.

"Just having a bit more common sense is helping the market to function but it is still a case that buyers know they have to jump through a lot more hoops to prove their earnings and be prudent and cautious themselves as to what they get themselves into."

The latest figures from the CML come amid attractive mortgage offers starting to infiltrate the high street, including more low-deposit deals for first-time buyers.

Mr Sayer adds: "Generally it's an encouraging, further sign following on from Wednesday's figures saying that inflation is at an all-time low again, and employment in the North East had gone up significantly.

"All of these things are still baby steps, but what we hope is that at least we've reached the bottom and things are now getting better. …

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