New Mortgage Products Keep Hitting UK Market
The variety of mortgage products available to borrowers in the UK increased for the third straight month in January 2010 to 2,516 different loan products, according to a report from moneysupermarket.com. At its height in August 2007, the count of distinct mortgages offered by lenders reached over 30,000, 12 times the amount in the current report. That figure bottomed in August 2009 at 2,179 different mortgages. January’s figure surpassed 2,500 for the first time since May 2009. "This is good news for buyers, as passing the 2,500 barrier does suggest that those looking for a mortgage are finding more and more choice, and where there is choice, there is competition,” said Hannah-Mercedes Skenfield, the mortgages channel manager at moneysupermarket.com. She added the third straight month of increases indicates the growth in mortgage diversity could be sustainable. “However, we have to put things into perspective; whilst 2,500 available products looks like an important milestone now, it represents what would have been only a small fraction of the market in August 2007, just before the collapse of [UK mortgage lender] Northern Rock, when there were over 30,000 products available,” Skenfield said. “With this in mind we are clearly a long way short of a full recovery, but we are at least moving in the right direction." Write to Jon Prior.