March mortgage surge wavers in April but applications still outperform 2009

Countrywide Mortgage Services

Monday, May 10, 2010

Countrywide's monthly mortgage market report - April 2010

April saw a dip in activity despite a spike in mortgage applications during March, according to Countrywide, the UK's largest mortgage broker and property services Group.

The anticipated slowdown - which is typical for April - was largely put down to the month's public holidays and school breaks, which was exacerbated by recent travel disruptions and the lead up to the election.

New mortgage applications grew by 20 percent in March but fell back by 18 percent in April. Overall year-to-date applications grew 6 percent.

The findings are based on the activities of more than 700 mortgage consultants, which reveal that other key market indicators remained broadly positive with average interest rates and deposits showing marginal changes.

The average interest rate of Countrywide's Top 10 Mortgage Applications fell by 0.08 to 4.57 percent compared to March 10 - a fall of 0.66 percent in April 09.

The average deposit placed by home buyers was 20 percent, 1 percent less than in March 10 and 1 percent more than in April 09.

The split between fixed and tracker product sales changed slightly with 60 percent of customers opting for fixed products, a 1 percent fall on March. The percentage split has changed dramatically over the last year as tracker products represented just 3 percent of mortgage applications in April 09, reaching 47 percent at their peak in December 09.

Grenville Turner, Countrywide's Group Chief Executive, said:

"April is traditionally a quieter month with school breaks and bank holidays affecting market activity. What we've experienced has followed the typical pattern of recent years.

"However, the contrast between applications in March and April shows how fragile any market recovery can be. That said; in April, we saw one of our best weeks for mortgage appointments in 2010, which suggests an improvement  in buyer interest during May and June."

Research highlights for April 2010 (based on the percentage of overall lending versus March 2010):

Countrywide's Most Sourced Mortgages are available to view on www.countrywidemortgages.co.uk or call 0800 988 7925 to arrange an appointment with a consultant.

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