New figures have revealed that the UK mortgage market continues to grow, with lending in June up 6% on the previous month and a fifth higher than the same month in 2013. The number of first-time buyers also continues to increase with one in five loans now being granted to borrowers with a smaller deposit.
Mortgage approvals in the UK rose for the first time in five months in June, suggesting that lenders have finally managed to get to grips with new regulations designed to make the industry more responsible.
Home loan approvals increased from 62,007 in May to 67,196 in June according to figures from the Bank of England. Experts were surprised by the sharp increase with most predictions suggesting only a modest upturn.
The Bank of England has proposed a cap on the proportion of home loans that can be lent at high multiples of household income.
Announcing the proposals, governor Mark Carney said he believed the housing market represented a threat to the UK's economic stability. Under the new proposals, lenders will not be allowed to approve any more than 15% of residential mortgages at above 4.5 times the income of the borrower.
With properties in short supply and both rents and prices rising, more people are now acquiring properties across the country, supported by record-low mortgage borrowing rates, as buy-to-let consolidates itself as the investment of choice, partly due to the dismal returns savers are currently receiving from banks and building societies.
In a further sign that confidence is returning to the mortgage market, new data shows that the number of small deposit mortgages hit a six-year high in February. 11,000 mortgages worth 85% of the property value were approved in February 2014, the highest number since April 2008.
Keep reading to find out why more and more first-time buyers are getting onto the housing ladder.
There was a sharp increase in mortgage lending levels last month as more buyers look to take advantage of rapidly improving residential property market conditions, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
The CML estimates that total gross mortgage lending was £15.2bn in February. Although this was a 6% fall on January's figure of £16.1bn, it represents a 43% jump compared to the £10.6bn lent in February 2013 and the highest total for a February for six years.
Property prices are rising at almost six times faster than popular ISA savings products, new figures show.
According to research by Sequence, the average home in the UK has risen by 11% in value since January 2013, which is significantly higher than the best fixed-rate ISA paid at 1.85% per annum.
The study also claims that property prices in Londonhave appreciated by 21% over the past year to £461,477, some 11 times the growth of an ISA interest rate.
New research from a leading lender has found that more and more first-time buyers are taking out their mortgages over more than the standard 25-year term. A majority of new borrowers now take their mortgage over a period of longer than 25 years, a situation that would have been unheard of just ten years ago.
While this helps cash strapped buyers to afford their monthly repayments it can mean that they pay thousands of pounds more interest over the term of the mortgage.
New figures from one of the UK's leading lenders have revealed that the number of first-time buyers rose by over one fifth in 2013, the strongest annual increase in a decade. The Halifax findings show that there were around 265,000 first-time buyers in the UK in 2013, representing the highest total since the global financial crisis.
According to Money Marketing, "the past 12 months have brought the kind of buoyant housing market few would have expected this time last year".
At the end of 2012 the UK economy was facing a triple-dip recession and borrowers were still struggling to be approved for a mortgage. Fast-forward a year, though, and much has changed. We look at the big mortgage stories of 2013.