Stability of Prices and Interest Rates Strengthen Resolve to Move

By Warrington, Nicola | The Birmingham Post (England), February 28, 1998 | Go to article overview

Stability of Prices and Interest Rates Strengthen Resolve to Move


Warrington, Nicola, The Birmingham Post (England)


Homebuyers borrowed slightly more money in January this year than the corresponding period in 1997 despite a seasonal fall of 20 per cent since December, writes NICOLA WARRINGTON.

The results, published by Barclays Mortgage Index which measures the activity of all mortgage lenders based on flow of funds through solicitors' deposit accounts, support the view that growth in mortgage lending is levelling off and is likely to be less dramatic in 1998 than during the past two years.

The total of mortgage advances in the Midlands in 1997 was five per cent higher than in 1996 - this compared with an eight per cent increase nationally.

And in December the market remained static, with figures roughly the same as those reported for November, 1997, according to Barclays Annual Review.

These two results point to a more stable and sustainable housing market, and are backed up by the increasing numbers of home buyers taking out five to 10-year fixed rate mortgages.

More than half of Barclays new customers are taking the long term fixed rates compared with less than 20 per cent opting for two and three-year fixed rates.

Variable rate mortgages, including discounts and cashbacks, currently account for just over a quarter of new loans.

Fewer people believe that house prices will continue to climb, with 45 per cent expecting the value of their homes to increase in the next 12 months, compared with 52 per cent a year ago, according to Barclays Mortgages consumer confidence research. However, more people are planning to buy and sell their homes, and there are now 26 people wanting to buy a home for every 10 properties on the market. …

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