Mortgage Rates Continue to Fall

The better news for housebuyers continued this week when more lenders announced rate cuts. Following the lead of the Halifax and others HSBC and the Bank of Ireland announced rate cuts across a range of products. This means now that all the major players in the mortgage market have reduced rates in the last week. Some have also reduced costs associated with their products as well. On top of that the general tightening up of criteria for obtaining finance seems to have stopped. Sandy MacFarlane, an experienced mortgage advisor with Caesar and Howie is confident the market is starting to return to some form of normality. “Generally it seems now that lenders are requiring 10% deposit as a minimum but if you have a good job and minimal other debt most people can now get the funds they need to buy. The 10% deposit rule is a bit of a return to the old day when I started in the business! Many borrowers can come up with these sorts of sums and we find first time buyers are often getting help from relatives.” As well as easier finance buyers are also finding properties easier to find due to the large volumes on the market and also that sellers are no longer holding out for premium prices. Kirsty Jack, senior sales controller at Caesar and Howie confirms this. “Not many closing dates are being fixed these days, and there are lots of houses now available at quite affordable fixed prices, so buyers can pick and choose. I suspect that when the market comes back to normal a lot of the prices now available to buyers will be seen to be real bargains”