House sales and new mortgages up slightly in May, says CML

The number of house sales and new mortgages increased slightly in May, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Loans for house purchases and remortgaging both grew slightly. There were 41,500 loans for house purchases, up from 40,800 in April, though the total loan value for each month was the same at £5.9 billion. However, despite the increase the amount and levels are still below last years’ levels.

Remortgage lending also increased slightly in May with 29,000 loans advanced, compared to 24,700 in April. Compared to May last year remortgage lending has increased by nine per cent in value, but is still below the peak of March 2011.

Most new borrowers opted for fixed rate mortgages despite the continued low level of interest rates, perhaps because of uncertainty over the future of interest rates and to have the security of fixed payments in a time of rising inflation.

Chris Gardner, a mortgage expert from Obligo said: “The extreme caution of borrowers is highlighted by the popularity of fixed rate mortgages despite the fact that rates are unlikely to rise any-time soon.”

“Many households are in a position such that they cannot even afford to gamble on rates. They have to play a conservative hand and opt for a fix.”

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Countrywide join forces with Mortgage Advice Bureau

Countrywide announce they have teamed up with Mortgage Advice Bureau to launch a new financial service brand to the UK market, called Capital Private Finance.

The joint venture will offer a high net worth property based financial service and will concentrate on providing Countrywide’s premium brands, such as Hamptons International, John D Wood & Co and Faron Sutaria with a dedicated broker service to meet all mortgage financing protection and insurance needs.

Capital Private Finance will employ dedicated advisors who will provide specialist advice for high net worth clients on all financial matters including new property purchases, remortgages, buy-to-let, commercial, international, agricultural, new build, renovation and development.

Nigel Stockton, financial service director at Countrywide, said: “We feel the private finance market has been under capitalised and we will be looking to attract the best private finance consultants in the industry to this exciting venture, which will be supported by our current partners and the world’s leading private banks.”

Source: The Negotiator

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Mortgage applications up by over 20%

The number of house purchase applications bounced up 20.1% in May compared with April.

But the rebound did little more than counter the 20.9% drop in mortgage applications in April, compared with March.

According to the latest joint mortgage index compiled by Mortgage Advice Bureau and independent London brokers Coreco Group, mortgage applications last month were 20.8% higher than May 2010.

The data only relates to applications, not to approvals.

The average loan size on mortgage applications was £131,426 compared to £124,328 in April, and the average loan to value being sought was 70.4%.

Applications for remortgages rose by 25.5% in May.

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Number of first-time buyer mortgages on the up

The number of mortgages available for first-time buyers has nearly trebled during the past two years, figures showed today.

There are 183 different products aimed at people taking their first step on to the property ladder, up from 62 in June 2009, according to financial information group

First-time buyers have been hit hard by the credit crunch as lenders have become more risk-averse and pulled deals that required little or no deposit.

But there are signs that banks and building societies are tentatively re-entering the market for people with only a small amount to put down, and there are now 31 different loans available for people with a 5% deposit.

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NatWest launches two mortgage deals and cuts rates

The lender is introducing a two-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage to its core range, which is available up to 60% LTV at 5.39% with a £999 fee.

It is also launching a fee-free two-year tracker purchase mortgage within its corporate range, which is available up to 60% LTV at a rate of 2.95%.

Furthermore, NatWest has reduced rates on a number of its core range purchase and remortgage products, including its 18-month tracker at 75% LTV, which has been cut from 3.55% to 3.25%.

The lender has also lowered its two-year fix at 75% LTV from 3.94% to 3.65%.

And in its corporate range, NatWest has reduced its two-year fix at 60% LTV from 3.55% to 3.25%, as well as lowering its five-year fix from 4.79% to 4.49%, but the fee on this product has increased from £699 to £999.

Mark Bullard, head of sales at NatWest Intermediary Solutions, says: “The buy-to-let market continues to offer intermediaries opportunities to grow their business, so the new buy-to-let product and lower rates on existing products should provide advisers with more choice.

“We won’t charge brokers’ clients basic legal and valuation fees for a standard remortgage on the new 60% LTV buy-to-let product that we have introduced into our core range.”

Source: Mortgage Strategy

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