I mentioned last week that 2018 seemed to have started strongly and we have now received more direct leads from our website than we did in the whole of January last year, proving that activity really is up.
Our corporate introducers are also similarly busy and it appears that many people feel that this year is the year that they will actually look to do something, whether this is a new purchase or finally getting round to remortgaging whilst rates are so low.
In fact, lenders have been cutting rates across the board and saturating the 2-year fixed market so much that we are seeing a return of more 3-year fixed products. Rates are as low as 1.49% ,(3.50% APRC) at 60% LTV and 1.69%, (3.48%) at 80% LTV for three-year fixes.
With the inflation rate dropping back to 3%, this eases some of the pressure on the Bank of England for another rate rise this year and this increase in competition amongst lenders shows no sign of abating any time soon.
One important change is something that many have missed; the fact that Santander have changed their variable rate to a new, slightly cheaper reversion rate. This is important because it means that the “stress test” takes place at a lower rate meaning many borrowers will be able to borrow that little more. It will be interesting to see if other lenders follow suit.
In more good news for the mortgage market lenders approved 13% more mortgages in November than this time last year, with First-Time Buyers showing a 15.2% rise, a strong showing from the life-blood of the property market.
All of this means there have been some optimistic lending forecasts for this year with some stating that Gross Mortgage Lending could top £260 billion, a fair growth on 2017.
At present, 2-year fixes are available at 1.19%, (3.80% APRC) and 5-year fixes from 1.74%, (3.21% APRC) whilst variable tracker rates are around from 1.24%, (3.57% APRC).
Those looking at a Buy-To-Let can still obtain products from just 1.34%, (4.50% APRC) for a 2-year fix.