Buyers on the hunt for riskier big mortgages

MORE than a quarter of prospective home buyers are now chasing riskier large mortgages, according to research released today, suggesting that announcements about the controversial Help to Buy scheme have driven the interest.

According to Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), 27 per cent of house hunters are now looking to pay out less than a 10 per cent deposit, up from 19 per cent in March 2013. Interest peaked at nearly 30 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, when the second phase of the scheme was launched early.

Between March 2013 and March 2014, the number of people looking for mortgages worth less than 60 per cent of the property’s value is down from over 30 per cent to just above 20 per cent.

And interest in purchase mortgages, which exclude remortgaging, have risen. In the same period, 70 per cent of searches were for purchases, against 60 per cent of searches in the previous 12 months.

Interest peaked in October 2013 at the start of the mortgage guarantee part of Help to Buy, with people looking to purchase homes making up 75 per cent of searches.

Figures released by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) yesterday reveal that there were 94,090 property transactions in the UK last month, 19 per cent higher than the same month last year.

“In terms of property transactions, we’re still a long way off the pre-downturn highs of 2007, and there are also fresh signs that the market may be stabilising,” said Peter Rollings, chief exec of estate agents Marsh & Parsons, putting the scale of the growth in context.