In January, mortgage borrowing and housing transactions generally fell off a cliff given the sub-zero weather conditions and the end of the stamp duty holiday in December, so February’s slight uptick isn’t too much of a surprise.
Looking forward, we’re not expecting borrowing levels to accelerate significantly in the run-up to the General Election, and they may even fall back slightly post-Election.
Come the second half of the year we’ll know far more about how the mortgage and residential property markets are likely to fare in the short term.
While it’s considerably easier to get a mortgage than it was a year ago, it is still considerably more difficult — and rightly so — than three years ago.
There has been a slight improvement in product availability and rates in the 80%-85% LTV range, although at 90% loan to value the market is still very limited.
Borrowers need to be aware that the days of sitting pretty on an SVR are coming to an end, as we have seen most tellingly with the recent increase in Skipton Building Society’s standard variable rate.