THE number of mortgage products available has topped 10,000 – for the first time since September 2008.
According to the Mortgage Advice Bureau, the figure stood at 10,262 in July, a 33 per cent increase on a year ago and up by almost three times (198 per cent) on the number available in July 2009.
MAB, whose advisers mainly work out of estate agents' branches, also says buyers are borrowing more. The typical home buyer borrowed £159,391 in July, up by six per cent since the start of the year. Mortgage rates have also come down over a 12-month period by around one per cent.
Gross mortgage lending is also up, hitting a five-year high, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders. It estimates that banks and building societies advanced £16.6bn in July, a rise of 12 per cent on June and 29 per cent higher than a year ago.
CML analyst Caroline Purdey said the figure "reinforces a growing evidence base of a strengthening in the housing and mortgage markets".