Mortgage lending at all-time high

It’s been a busy 12 months for everyone in the property sector, and a tumultuous year and a half for the world in general. Now that there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel, we’re all looking forward to getting back to normal. The Stamp Duty Holiday is coming to its gradual end and while this might lead to a slowing in the market towards the end of the year, continued activity proves that the market remains buoyant.

In fact, mortgage lending is at its highest since Bank of England records began in 1993; in March of this year some 82,700 mortgages were approved – 13% higher than the same period last year.

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So, what does this mortgage landscape mean for different segments of the market?

First-Time Buyers

The number of mortgage products for first-time buyers has soared since the Chancellor launched the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme; this scheme means that the Government ‘guarantees’ a portion of the mortgage for buyers with small deposits.

However, even away from this scheme there is a wide variety of products as lenders compete for the influx of wannabe new home owners. This deluge of tenants with aspirations for owning their own property has been spurred on by the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift in office-home working; suddenly, being a commutable distance from work is less of a priority meaning the population can spread away from major cities.

While the number of high loan-to-value mortgages is on the rise, the same lending criteria is still being applied to potential buyers. A number of new lending criteria were introduced to ensure that a financial crash like the one in 2008 never happened again. Many first-time buyers will fail to secure a mortgage at the first time of asking; this is usually because of their credit history, small deposit or having irregular income.

Existing Homeowners

If you are moving up or down the property ladder you have plenty of choice on mortgage product. There are now more than 4,000 deals on offer which is 50% more than the same time last year. While existing home owners tend to have larger equity stakes in their home, the greatest level of mortgage product is available to those with 20-25% deposits.

As competition heats up, we’re seeing some lenders looking to aggressively win new business by offering sub 1% rates. While this sounds like a great deal, these super low-rate products are only available sporadically and for limited periods before lenders withdraw them. Some have been available for as little as 28 days; so, if you want to take advantage of these mortgages, you need to be able to move quickly.


Another segment of the market which has been particularly lively in the last 18 months, investors have nearly 2,500 different mortgage products to choose from, which is 1,000 more than this time last year AND 2019!

A combination of high tenant demand, rising rents and house price growth had given lenders more confidence when lending to investors with smaller deposits. Investors with a 25% deposit have the most choice with nearly 900 mortgages available, while deals for those with 15-25% deposits are also plentiful.

If you are thinking of becoming a landlord you may be able to secure some excellent finance deals on buy-to-let mortgages as competition between lenders drives interest rates down.

In Summary

It seems as though we are at the bottom of the cheap mortgage cycle and are unlikely to ever see rates this low ever again. So, if you are contemplating a change the first place to go is your existing mortgage company to see what kind of deals you have available to you.

We know of people who, having done a lot of research and scouring of the internet, was able to move his mortgage online without the help of a broker, and reduced their monthly payments by nearly £1,000 a month. However, we should emphasise that this requires extensive research and a good deal of time and if you are not confident, you should speak to a professional.

Get in Touch

If you are thinking of moving to the area, make sure you take a look at our amazing catalogue of properties for sale in Virginia Water and the surrounding areas.

If you’d like to speak to someone about properties to let in Virginia Water, a member of our expert team would be happy to help. You can call us on 01344 843000 or email us. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

*All statistics correct at time of writing (June 2021)