The number of new mortgages in April has increased by almost 16%, according to new figures released by the council of mortgage lenders.
Many independent studies and reports targeting the property industry in UK are finally showing signs of improvement. While recent months have shown a slight improvement in number of houses sold, this time the mortgage industry is showing positive signs. According to the monthly mortgage report published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, there has been an increase in the number of property mortgages in April.
Although April registered an overall increase in the number of mortgages as well as properties bought, the total number is still significantly down as compared with the number of mortgages last year. The number of mortgages in April this year has risen by almost 16% from the previous month however the total number of mortgages is still lower by 28% when compared to April 2008.
While mortgages have risen from previous month, reportages have continued to decline. Property owners have chosen to stay with their current variable rate and this is attributed to be the main reason behind the continuous decline in reportages. As a result reportages have declined by almost 65% from the same time last year. This is much higher than the annual decline in regular mortgages which has fallen by only 20% from the same time last year.
First time buyer mortgages have also increased by 11 percent in April compared with the previous month. The average mortgage today only covers 75% of the total value of the property which is down from 89% last year.
First-time property buyers are trying to take advantage of reduced house prices but may still find it difficult as they need to put aside a higher deposit than they were required last year.
In spite of the volatile figures and economic recession, buying a property has become more affordable now. Today a home buyer purchasing a property for the first time on an average utilises 15% of their income to cover repayment and interest costs. This is the lowest proportion of income since 2004.
First-time buyers are important for the property market and will play a crucial role in the recovery of the property market. As such increase in affordability can prove vital for the recovery of the property market in UK. An 11% increase in first time buyer mortgages also contributes to this and offers encouraging news for recovery of the market in coming months.
The new report by the council of mortgage lenders also shows an increasing preference for fixed rate mortgages. A combination of factors such as lower property prices and slight ease in lending criteria by lenders are responsible for the increase in number of mortgages in April.
The interest rates are at its lowest and buyers feel more secure in taking out mortgages that have a fixed rate of interest for longer periods of time.
Property and mortgage analysts expect the interest rates to remain low in the ear future. As a result mortgages with short term fixed rates of interest seem less attractive to home buyers.