Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:
“Strong market conditions prompted a solid annual increase in the number of residential transactions this January, despite the typical monthly fall from December as activity from buyers and sellers tapered off after the end of the year.
“While house prices have risen over the past year, buyers have been supported by moderate increases in average incomes, all time low mortgage rates and a strong appetite among lenders to lend. Mortgage Advice Bureau’s latest National Mortgage Index shows that consumers could choose between the highest number of mortgage products since January 2008, providing them with plenty of options to suit their personal needs.
“Despite the fact that rising prices have clearly not put a dampener on activity, policymakers need to work hard to ensure that the market is accessible for first-time buyers and borrowers on modest incomes. While conditions are good for those who can meet affordability criteria and raise a deposit, it is important to ensure that a diverse range of prospective buyers are supported in accessing the housing market.”