Mortgage lending relaxed

Borrowers enjoy new flexibility and choice as competition for business leads to better deals

The availability of mortgages is reaching a new peak this summer, thanks to lenders relaxing their affordability criteria. Despite what might be happening with the Bank of England's interest rate, mortgage advisors are able to offer borrowers some fantastic deals.

The loosening of affordability criteria comes after the mortgage market review five years ago, which saw a strict new lending framework introduced. Borrowers were required to tell lenders far more about their spending habits and prove they could afford repayments should rates rise, as well as conform to a set of ideal living/working standards.

Lenders are now, however, becoming more flexible about who they lend to and under which circumstances. This is because fewer people are currently applying for mortgages and lenders are competing for a smaller pool of customers. A more relaxed attitude means it is possible for welfare payments, such as child benefit, to be counted as income, and borrowers will not always be penalised if they have financially independent children living at home.

Elsewhere, some 'essential living costs' have been dropped from the expenditure list - a list of a borrower's outgoings, such as gym memberships and children's nursery fees, used to measure outgoings - while some lenders are now comfortable lending more money to those buying new build properties. There's also good news for self-employed contractors, whose choice of mortgages is improving.

There is additional reason to cheer among those with small deposits, including first-time buyers. After limited availability, 95% mortgages are growing in number, with competitive rates for those remortgaging and buying their very first house. First-time landlords also have the best choice since records began, with a new high of 1,268 buy-to-let mortgages in the market as lenders look to tempt landlords.

The Robinson Jackson Group offers in-house mortgage advice from qualified Financial Advisors - and you don't need to be buying a property through us to take advantage of the service. Our advisors are independent, meaning they have access to the whole market, including deals that are not available through high street lenders. You can book an appointment at a time to suit you, even at weekends, and obtain an almost instant answer. Contact your local office to book your appointment today.

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