Mortgage bulletin for week commencing Monday 23 September

Posted 23 September 2013

Another mortgage lender is reporting a strong increase in mortgage business, as more people take advantage of lowering interest rates and keen house prices. Government and developer schemes to help homebuyers get on the housing ladder for the first time are also thought to be having an impact, increasing the number of new loans.

Yorkshire Building Society says that it saw an increase in mortgage business in August 2013, confirming it as its busiest month for mortgage lending for almost two years. The amount lent by the Society on mortgages completed in August was up 68% compared to August 2012, and was 28% higher than the value of completions in May 2012, which was the Yorkshire's busiest month last year.

Yorkshire Building Society senior product manager Chris Smith, says: "We enjoyed an exceptionally busy month during August. This was our busiest month for mortgage completions since November 2011, and followed an increase in business month-on-month since the start of 2013. We are focused on lending responsibly and sustainably, and our aim is to help borrowers across all loan-to-value (LTV) levels, including first-time buyers."

Alongside those results, the August House Price Index compiled by the Land Registry, showed an annual price increase of 1.3%, with the average house price in England and Wales now standing at £164,654.

The Coventry Building Society has extended its range of two- and five-year fixed-rate mortgages, with rates cut by 0.3% on some deals, with interest rates now starting at 2.15%. The society has also cut rates on its buy-to-let mortgages. New residential rates, all fixed until 31 December 2015, are offered with £199 booking fees, and include 2.15% at maximum 65% LTV, with an £800 arrangement fee, and 4.29% at maximum 90% LTV with no arrangement fee.

Coventry's new buy-to-let mortgage rates include 3.29% (reduced from 3.49%), fixed until 31 October 2015 at 65% LTV, with a £199 booking fee, £1,749 arrangement fee and early repayment charges (ERCs) payable to 31 October 2015. At 75% LTV, borrowers can get a rate of 4.15% fixed until the sane date with a £250 booking fee and £250 arrangement fee.

The Society's Flexx for Term buy-to-let mortgages are available at 3.49% (reduced from 3.79%) at 65% LTV, with a £250 booking fee, £749 arrangement fee and no ERCs.

Colin Franklin, sales and marketing director, Coventry Building Society, says: "Our highly competitive range has just got even better. We have extended the term on all two- and five-year fixed-rate mortgages by three months, so borrowers can enjoy the security of a great rate for even longer. Buy-to-let investors aren't missing out either, as we have cut rates on selected products including our popular Flexx-for-Term option."

Skipton Building Society has reduced the interest rates it will charge those able to provide a smaller deposit and taking out a new mortgage. Two- and three-year fixed-rate mortgage rates with either a 20% deposit or 15% deposit have been reduced by 0.2%. Loans at 80% loan-to-value (LTV) are available for two-year fixed-rate at 2.68%, with two-year fixed-rate deals at 85% LTV charged at 3.68%. Overpayments of up to 10% per annum is allowed without charge, and free legal and valuation packages are available on remortgages.

Kris Brewster, Skipton's head of products, says: "For some time now, the market's most competitive deals have focused on the lowest LTVs, at around 60% and 75%. However, we felt that the renewed confidence which is starting to filter through provided an ideal opportunity to extend lower rates to LTVs up to 85%, by making some our two- and three-year products even more attractive. We hope this will support both first-time buyers and existing home owners who have maybe been hit by the impact of the credit crunch."

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