"Though the market below 80% looks to be back on relatively stable footing, it’s evident that options are slim for those with a 15% deposit or smaller."
Product numbers have increased to the highest level seen since the Covid-19 lockdown period began, data from Mortgage Brain shows.
Last week saw product numbers grow by 3.3% to a new high of 9,033. This followed a fall in the week before, the first time the number of products available had decreased since April.
The total number of mortgage products on the market is now up by 21.7% on the lowest point seen during the crisis, in the week ending 12th April. However, it remains down on the levels seen before the pandemic, standing at 38.4% lower than the nine-week average to 16th March.
The volume of ESIS generated by Mortgage Brain sourcing systems increased marginally over the week by 2.3%. This is the eighth consecutive week of ESIS growth, with volumes now only 6.45% down on the nine-week average to 16th March.
Looking at the residential business mix, ESIS volumes have returned to pre-pandemic levels in all LTV bands up to 80%. However, above 80% a shift has been occurring of late, with ESIS volumes for products with an LTV of 80% to 85% increasing by 4.9% over the last two weeks, while those between 85% and 90% have dropped by 7.1%. ESIS for products above 90% LTV represents just 1.1% of those generated, significantly down on the 6.6% proportion it represented before the pandemic.
Mark Lofthouse, CEO of Mortgage Brain, commented: “There is clear comfort to be taken in these figures. For three weeks in a row ESIS volumes have remained at levels close to those seen before the pandemic, which suggests that the growing activity in the market is sustainable, and not simply the result of pent-up demand from would-be homebuyers and remortgagers who were forced to put their plans on hold by the lockdown. That should provide some encouragement not just for the weeks ahead, but for the rest of 2020 as a whole.
“While the improvement in product numbers is also welcome, there is still much progress to be made. Though the market below 80% looks to be back on relatively stable footing, it’s evident that options are slim for those with a 15% deposit or smaller. A more substantial recovery will depend on lenders re-entering the market and offering a broader range of products, as well as more varied lending criteria.”