Mortgage product numbers hit five year high

A total of 12,265 products were available in August: the largest number in over five years since the Index began tracking this data in April 2009, surpassing the previous record of 12,106 in December 2013.

The mortgage product range grew by 964 between July and August alone – the biggest monthly increase in over three years, since April 2011.

New intermediary products outnumbered new direct-only products by almost 5:1, with 798 extra products available via brokers in August than in July, compared with just 166 more being offered direct from lenders. Intermediary product numbers rose at twice the rate of direct products (10% vs. 5%).

The 8,576 broker products available in August was the largest total for 2014 to date and more than twice the number available direct from lenders (3,689).

Having dipped in June, intermediary product numbers have now grown by 1,278 in the last two months while the direct product range has fallen by 104. Brokers had access to 70% of products in August, up from 69% in July and 66% in June.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “The Mortgage Market Review (MMR) has put advice at the heart of getting a mortgage and underlined the value of speaking to a broker to access the best choice of deals.

“The mortgage industry may have paused for breath following MMR, but looking at both supply and demand during August, there are strong signs of enthusiasm from both lenders and consumers.

“Despite the holiday season, we have still seen double-digit growth in mortgage applications year-on-year while lenders are tripping over themselves to outdo one another with their latest deals.

“It is an encouraging sign that healthy competition can continue under the new regime, and shows that consumer choice remains intact: just with carefully monitored parameters in place to govern who can borrow and how much. It means the market recovery can continue on a steady footing and absorb the impact of the eventual base rate rise.”