Number of mortgage products on market rises 1.1%

The number of products on the mortgage market has continued its steady improvement and increased by 1.1% last week to a new post-lockdown high of 9,266, new data from Mortgage Brain has revealed.

The mortgage technology expert indicated this figure was up by almost 25% on the lowest point seen since coronavirus struck back in the week ending 12 April. However, Mortgage Brain said product availability remains “substantially down” on the numbers seen before the pandemic – with last week’s figures still down by 36.9% on the nine-week average to 16 March.
 
The data also showed that ESIS volumes produced from Mortgage Brain’s sourcing systems increased by 5% last week. They are now only 6.4% lower than pre-pandemic levels, and have been within 11% of typical levels seen before COVID-19 for five consecutive weeks. The mortgage technology expert suggested this shows a steady foundation for the recovery in borrower demand.

Mortgage Brain CEO, Mark Lofthouse, commented: “The continued growth in purchase ESIS, beyond levels seen before Covid-19 arrived, is encouraging. It demonstrates the strength of desire to buy homes remains strong across the UK, whether buying as an owner occupier or for investment purposes.

“This demand is being supported by the steady increase in the number of products available too, which has hit another new high following the lockdown.”
 
Looking at the business mix, Mortgage Brain also revealed that demand from residential buyers has now surpassed the level seen before the lockdown, with home mover cases accounting for 9.3% more of the ESIS generated than pre-pandemic. This is also the case with buy-to-let borrowing, where purchase cases account for 7.8% more of the ESIS generated than pre-pandemic.
 
Furthermore, the data showed there are indications that the situation for higher LTV borrowing is gradually improving too. On residential cases, ESIS volumes for borrowing at above 70% LTV are now 2% higher than pre-pandemic levels, although Mortgage Brain suggested that it remains difficult for borrowers with small deposits, with borrowing above 90% LTV representing just 1% of ESIS currently – down from 6.6% before the pandemic.
 
“There remains a clear ceiling on LTVs, with high LTV lending continuing to be restricted,” Lofthouse added. “This looks likely to remain a challenging area of the market in the months ahead as lenders limit their exposure to small deposit borrowers.”

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