Competition is boosting home loan borrowers

Chris Papadopoullos
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MORTGAGE lending continued to make gains in the three months to September despite stricter rules on lenders, the Bank of England revealed yesterday.

Mortgage advances totalled £55.9bn in the third quarter – an increase of 12.8 per cent compared with last year and the highest level of lending for six years.

Meanwhile, the number of mortgages in arrears in the period was 24,146 – 2.5 per cent lower than the previous three months and the lowest since the series began in 2007.

Stricter mortgage lending rules, called the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), were introduced in April.

“There is plenty of life left in the market following the MMR with lenders firing on all cylinders to record the largest total advances in any third quarter since 2008,” said Brian Murphy of the Mortgage Advice Bureau. “Consumers are benefiting from improved access to mortgage finance despite tougher affordability checks.” Murphy explains that borrowers are benefitting from high levels of competition. This was reflected in the fact that 82.6 per cent of new mortgages we fixed rate – the most since 2007.