Positive indicators for UK mortgage market while

Countrywide Mortgage Services

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Countrywide's monthly mortgage market report - February 2010

Mortgage activity rose again in February, with key indicators providing a well-needed boost to the market, according to Countrywide, the UK's largest mortgage broker and property services Group.

Despite speculation on the long-term economic outlook, the activities of over 700 Countrywide Mortgage Consultants operating throughout the UK have revealed that the number of mortgage applications in February increased by 34 percent on last month, a 6.6 percent increase on February 2009.

The average interest rate of Countrywide's Top 10 Mortgage Applications for February fell by 0.26 percent to 4.52 percent compared to January 2010 - a fall of 0.79 percent since February 2009.

The findings also reveal that customers are opting for bigger deposits, which are now 22 percent on average - 3 percent up on January 2010 and an increase of 2 percent compared to February 2009. 

Applications for tracker mortgages faltered for the first time since April 2009 with February seeing a 4 percent increase in applications for fixed rate mortgages compared to January 2010, which represented 57 percent of applications overall.

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

"It is encouraging to see the average interest rate of our most popular products fall as customers gather up larger deposits. This shows more commitment from major lenders to competitively price their products and provide the best rates for those with the biggest deposits.

"We may also be seeing a return of home movers entering the market as larger deposits typically come from home movers using the equity from their property to fund their move.

"As speculation mounts over house prices and inflation it is interesting to note that we've seen a marginal uplift in the volume of fixed mortgage applications.  Tracker products have enjoyed a significant resurgence in popularity over the last 9 months and now make up around half of all new mortgages, however the forthcoming election could unsettle the market and impact any economic recovery and customers are increasingly looking for the certainty of a fixed rate mortgage."

Research highlights for February 2010 (based on the percentage of overall lending versus January 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 one of our consultants who do not charge for their mortgage advice.

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