Top Mortgage News

Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 16/10/2019

The number of first-time buyer mortgages completed in August was at its highest level since 2007, data released by UK Finance reveals.

According to UK Finance’s Mortgage Trends, there were 35,010 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in August, a 0.7% increase on July and the highest monthly total in 12 years .

Statistics released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have shown continued slowing down of house price growth and a flat-lining of inflation for the months of August and September respectively.

With many consumers struggling financially, Moneyfacts.co.uk latest research showing that over half of residential mortgages now have a term of up to 40 years will be good news, as it will mean more borrowers will be able to spread their mortgage repayments over a long time period.  

Research by Moneyfacts.co.uk found that 2,782 (57.01%) of residential mortgage products currently available have a standard maximum mortgage term of up to 40 years.  

Products at maximum mortgage term (residential mortgages)

Max term 40 years 35 years 30 years 25 years
Oct 2018 2,412 (55.55%) 1,645 (37.89%) 136 (3.13%) 149 (3.43%)
Oct 2019 2,782 (57.01%) 1,735 (35.55%) 195 (4.00%) 168 (3.44%)

Darren Cook, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “Historically, a standard mortgage term generally amounted to a period of 25 years, but a growing majority of products are now available to be extended for a period of 40 years. By extending their mortgage term, borrowers may be looking to reduce their monthly repayments and therefore are more likely to meet strict affordability requirements.

“Yorkshire Building Society is the latest mortgage provider to increase its maximum mortgage term criteria to 40 from 35 years, at the same time increasing its criteria on the maximum age of a borrower at the end of a mortgage from 75 to 80 years.

“It appears that mortgage providers are permitting extended maximum mortgage terms of up to 40 years in conjunction with extending the maximum age that a borrower may be at the end of a mortgage. Our recent research shows that more than four-fifths (83%) of residential mortgages can end when the borrower is 70 years of age or older.

“A longer-term mortgage may reduce monthly repayments, however, the additional interest that accumulates over an extended mortgage term could be considerable. For example, a £250,000 repayment mortgage at a rate of 2.50% over 25 years equates to a monthly repayment of £1,121.54 and total interest payable would be £86,463 over the term. However, the same mortgage taken over a 40-year term would reduce the monthly repayments to £824.45, but increase the total interest to be paid to £145,733, resulting in an additional £59,270 in interest.

“Furthermore, the longer a borrower extends their mortgage term, the older they will be when they have finally repaid their mortgage. An extended mortgage term may go beyond pension age, so it is imperative that these borrowers consider their options and attempt to make provisions if their personal circumstances change.”

Mortgage rates continue to be highly competitive this week, with many of last week’s top rates still available to borrowers. As well as this, the top rates across all charts are available on two year fixed deals, which is good news for those who want the security of locking their mortgage into a fixed rate.

While there has been a year-on-year increase in house prices, the housing market is at its slowest level of growth since April 2013, the latest Halifax House Price Index reveals.

According to the House Price Index, the average house price in September was £232,574. This is just 1.1% higher than the same month the previous year and only a 0.4% increase from July to September compared to April to June. As well as this, the House Price Index shows that house prices fell by 0.4% in September compared to August.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “Annual house price growth slowed somewhat in September, rising by just 1.1% over the last year. While this is the lowest level of growth since April 2013, it remains in keeping with the predominantly flat trend we’ve seen in recent months.

“Underlying market indicators, including completed sales and mortgages approvals, continue to be broadly stable. Meanwhile for buyers, important affordability measures – such as wage growth and interest rates – still look favourable.

“Looking ahead, we expect activity levels and price growth to remain subdued while the current period of economic uncertainty persists.”

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