Share of mortgages with LTV of over 90% highest in a decade

The proportion of mortgages advanced last quarter with a loan to value (LTV) ratio exceeding 90% was the highest in nearly 11 years, the latest official statistics have shown.

The figure in 2019 Q2 was 5.5%, the highest recorded since 2008 Q4, according to today’s Mortgage Lenders and Administrators Statistics from the Bank of England.

The proportion of lending at high loan to income (LTI) ratios – loans greater than four times the value of annual income for a single borrower or greater than three times for joint borrowers – was 46.1%, also up 0.7 percentage points on this time last year.

The data also revealed that the outstanding value of all residential mortgage loans was £1,461bn in 2019 Q2, 3.1% higher than a year earlier, while gross mortgage advances were worth £66.1bn, 1.0% lower than a year ago. The value of new mortgage commitments was broadly unchanged compared to 2018 Q2, at £73.4bn.

Meanwhile, the share of gross mortgage lending for buy-to-let purposes was 13.1%, also in line with last year. Lending to owner-occupiers for house purchases accounted for 50.5% of total gross mortgage advances in Q2, with 21.3% going to first-time buyers – which was consistent with a year earlier – and 29.2% loaned to home movers.

Commenting on the figures, Spicerhaart Corporate Sales MD, Mark Pilling, described the rise in the number of mortgages with LTVs above 90% as a “worrying trend”.

“This suggests that some borrowers may be stretching themselves too thin, and if rates do rise, they may start to struggle with their repayments,” he warned. “ONS figures released last month revealed house prices fell in the south west for the first time since 2009, so those with bigger loans which have been taken out recently may also find themselves in negative equity if this trend continues and spreads throughout the rest of the country.”

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