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Mortgage availability easing - sort of...

publication date: May 7, 2009
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There are signs of a few new oases in the Desert of the Available Mortgages, but they are very exclusive oases. The gates to 297 mortgage lender oases (up from 184 six months ago) are only open to those with a 40% deposit; those bearing only a 10% deposit will be limited to a choice of 71 places (down from 204 six months ago).

And shortage of choice isn’t the only divider between the haves and the have nots. The rates are rather different too. Average mortgage rates for those with a 40% deposit are now 4.29%, down from 5.92% in November, but for a 90% mortgage the average rate is now 5.98%, down from 6.72% in November.

Darren Cook, Analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, commented:
“Banks are far from predicting the end of the housing slump and are hedging their bets by increasing the number of their best mortgages to those who are fortunate to have a 40 per cent deposit. With the Bank of England base rate unlikely to fall bellow its current level and expectations are that we should see this rate unchanged for the remainder of 2009, we will only see better mortgage rates across the board if banks regain their appetite for responsible lending and healthy competition for new business returns to the market”.