Average shelf life of a mortgage shrinks to just 15 days

The average shelf life of a mortgage has nearly halved in the space of a month, according to a financial information website.

At the start of June, the typical mortgage was spending 15 days on the market before being pulled from sale, declining sharply from an average of 28 days at the start of May, Moneyfacts found.

June’s figure is the shortest average time period recorded by the website since March. The lowest shelf-life average on Moneyfacts’ records was 12 days, recorded in July 2023.

The data was sourced from the first available day of each month.

While mortgages are typically spending less time on offer, the number of products to choose from has jumped to the highest level in more than 16 years.

Moneyfacts counted 6,629 options at the start of the month, the highest level since 6,760 deals were recorded in February 2008.

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “Lenders spent the first few weeks of May repricing, in reaction to a volatile swap rate market, but the latter end of the month was more subdued, around the time the Government announced there would be a general election in July.

“Despite the small uplift in rates, there was another rise in the overall product availability of residential mortgages, standing at its highest point in 16 years.

“As lenders reviewed their ranges, which included repricing, launches and withdrawals, the moves led to the average shelf-life of a mortgage plummeting to 15 days, down from 28 days at the start of May.

“Year-on-year the overall availability of mortgages has risen by 1,662 deals, and within that pool of products, there are 156 more at 90% loan-to-value (LTV) and 124 more at 95% LTV.

“These rises are good news for borrowers who may be struggling to build a big enough deposit to secure a new deal.”

Moneyfacts also released figures showing the average two-year homeowner mortgage rate on the market on Monday is 5.96%, having edged up from 5.95% on Friday last week.

The last time the average two-year fix was at 6% or above was on December 7, when the figure was 6.01%.

Average two-year fixes were as high as 6.85% in early August last year.

The average five-year fixed residential mortgage rate on Monday is 5.52%, which is unchanged from Friday.

Ms Springall continued: “Consumers concerned about rising rates would be wise to seek advice from an independent broker to see if they can lock into a deal early, as some will let borrowers do this from three to six months in advance.

“However, there may well be some borrowers sitting on the fence, hoping the market gets a base rate cut this year, but they could still grab a lower rate deal than if they were to sit on their SVR (standard variable rate) without fixing, such as with a tracker deal.”