Mortgages - just how much choice do you need?

“Shock horror! - So now we only have just shy of 3,500 mortgage products to choose from, is that really such a disaster? - the answer is no, but it is these type of scare stories that increase levels of confusion and misapprehension amongst consumers and contribute to the very low levels of new mortgage business that are currently being written.”

“Confidence amongst consumers is understandably at an extremely low point and the last thing we need is to worry people into thinking that there’ll soon be nowhere left for them to remortgage to when their current deal expires.”

“The only reason we ever had 15,000 or so mortgage products to pick from was largely down to the vast combination of products offered by sub prime lenders looking to meet ever growing sales targets.”

“The demise of sub prime products, self cert mortgages and some of the higher LTV offerings is no bad thing, if we had maintained traditional banking values where customers were expected to put down a deposit when buying a home and that those with a poor credit history paid interest rates in line with their risk profile, then perhaps we wouldn’t be in quite such a mess that we are now.”

“Consumers need to get the message that if they have a decent credit rating and are looking for a loan to value of 80% or less, there are still plenty of mortgages to choose from - have you heard of a bank or building society introducing mortgage quotas or waiting lists? - I don’t think so.”

“Whilst banks may be reluctant to lend to each other, there is no evidence that they’re not prepared to lend to Joe public.”

A quick five minute scour of the internet this evening shows you can still get an 80% or more LTV mortgage from the following providers (Fixed rates deals being advertised 30/09/08)

· Britannia BS 6.14% £499 fee up to 90% LTV 2 year fixed

· Nationwide BS 6.43% £599 fee up to 90% LTV for first time buyers 2 year fixed

· Halifax 6.89% No fee up to 90% LTV for first time buyers (95% if current account held) 5 year fixed

· C&G 6.35% £995 fee up to 90% LTV 2 Year fixed

· First Direct 5.79% £598 fee to 80% LTV 2 Year fixed

· Yorkshire BS 6.29% £495 fee to 90% LTV 2 Year fixed

· HSBC 6.27% £499 fee to 90% LTV 2 Year fixed

“This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just proves that there are still high LTV products available from some of the biggest names in the mortgage arena, so whilst some of the more high risk and non mainstream products may have fallen by the wayside, the shelves are by no means empty when it comes to finding a new home loan.”

“SWAP rates are fluctuating rapidly which has recently led to a flurry of rate increases being announced, however with swap rates dipping again by some 0.30% since last Tuesday, lower fixed rates may once again be just around the corner.”