January has seen a post-recession high in borrowing according to the BBA’s High Street Banking Statistics.
Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), said the activity had been driven by the record-low mortgage rates and buyers rushing to close their deals before the introduction of the new stamp duty tax on buy-to-let properties from 1 April.
“There is plenty of appetite among borrowers and lenders alike in the mortgage market, with January seeing a post-recession high in borrowing. As the BBA suggests, this has been driven in part by a growth in demand from buy-to-let investors looking to access the market ahead of April’s changes to stamp duty. The record low mortgage rates available on the market have also contributed to this spike in activity and have helped encourage borrowers to lock in to very affordable deals.
With government borrowing costs hitting a record low and the mortgage products reaching a record high since 2008, Murphy insisted there was even more choice from mortgage rates for individuals “fortunate to afford a deposit”.
“For those who meet lenders’ criteria and are fortunate to afford a deposit, there have been few times like the present to borrow. Not only are rates extremely low, but consumers can also choose from a huge range of different mortgage products tailored to their individual needs. Recent research reveals that the number of mortgage products reached more than 17,000 in January 2016.”
MAB’s head of lending concluded that there was a necessity for support for first-time buyers and borrowers with modest incomes and urged policymakers to work towards ensuring that “homeownership is achievable on a wider scale.”