At the depth of the crash in the UK mortgage market, the number of products available to borrowers dropped to a low of 1209. Since last April, however, the numbers have increased, giving a choice of more than double that amount. So the surprising question that consumers have been asking their broker is "Given that there are so many mortgages, why can't I get one?" according to lovemoney.com.
The reality is, however that many of these products are just variations, 3 fixed three year rate offerings for example, all with slightly different fees. There is also the issue of loan to value rates when UK brokers try to find a suitable product for their clients and few lenders are prepared to go past 75%. With the UK's median dwelling price at A$375,000 it means first time buyers have to front up nearly $100,000 to get into the market at that level.
And while some may be unhappy that it's tough they can't get a mortgage, there are still many thousands who wish they didn't have one, with 46,000 property repossessions last year and 188,300 borrowers in arrears.
The net effect of all this is that brokers are doing it incredibly tough - home lending has collapsed from a high of £364bn to just £144bn. Many hundreds of brokerages have folded, with one of the best known, Charcol collapsing and being rescued just a few weeks ago. The number of brokers in the business has fallen by 60% from its peak of 30,000 to just 12,000.
So maybe despite all the hard times here, we are still, The Lucky Country.
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