British mortgage sales decline across the board

MORTGAGE sales in the year to April sank to their lowest rate since the Financial Services Authority (FSA) began gathering the figures in 2005, it emerged yesterday.

“Overall, mortgage sales declined by seven per cent from 2009-10 to 2010-11,” the FSA said.

The decline was across the board, with sales of mortgages to first-time buyers, re-mortgagers and home movers all falling in 2010-11 compared to the previous year.

Fixed rate mortgages continued to be most popular for borrowers, yet their proportion of the market slipped from 63 per cent to 53 per cent.

“Initial rates on fixed interest rate mortgages have been consistently higher than variable rates but the gap is shrinking,” the report said.

The proportion of mortgages with advice also fell sharply, from 74 per cent in the second quarter of 2010 to 68 per cent in the first quarter of this year.