Choice of mortgages at start of April ‘highest since 2008’

Mortgage borrowers had the biggest number of products to choose from in over 16 years in early April, according to a financial information website.

Meanwhile, the average “revert to” or standard variable rate (SVR) mortgage is above 8% – making the need to find a new, less costly deal more pressing for some borrowers.

Moneyfacts said the typical SVR is 8.18%, which is close to the highest level it has recorded (8.19%), in November and December 2023.

Moneyfacts’ average SVR data goes back to July 2007.

The website looked at the first available day of each month for its research.

Across all deposit sizes, Moneyfacts counted 6,307 mortgage options at the start of April including fixed and variable deals – the highest number since 6,760 were recorded in February 2008.

Within the April total, there were 335 deals in the 5% deposit bracket, which was the biggest choice in nearly two years (since there were 347 deals in June 2022).

The number of deals for people with a 10% deposit was the highest since the month that the coronavirus lockdowns started in the UK.

Moneyfacts counted 774 deals on the market for borrowers with a 10% deposit, the highest number since 779 products were available in March 2020.

The average shelf-life of a mortgage product stabilised to 22 days, up from 15 days at the start of March 2024. The lowest shelf-life average on Moneyfacts’ records was 12 days in July 2023.

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “These are encouraging signs for borrowers concerned about rising interest rates and the short window of opportunity to secure a new deal.

“It is worth noting that both the average two and five-year fixed rates are lower than they were back at the start of 2024. Borrowers will find rates are significantly lower compared to six months ago, when the average two and five-year fixed rates were 0.67 (percentage points) and 0.58 (percentage points) higher respectively.”

At the start of April, across all deposit sizes, the average two-year fixed-rate mortgage on the market was 5.80% and the average five-year fixed-rate was 5.39%.

Ms Springall continued: “Mortgage product availability continues to thrive, with the overall choice of residential products reaching its highest point in over 16 years.

“Deeper analysis shows that the number of deals available at higher loan-to-value ratios rose. Indeed, at 90% loan-to-value, the number of deals increased for a consecutive month, as did deals at 95% loan-to-value.

“There are now 1,109 deals at these ratios combined, positive news for borrowers with a limited deposit or equity. The growth in choice is good news for first-time buyers, who may be struggling to find an affordable property.”

Ms Springall added that some borrowers coming off a fixed rate this year could find themselves paying around three percentage points more on their mortgage rate than they were previously.

She said: “In April 2022, the average two-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.86%, and in April 2019 the average five-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.88%.

“Seeking advice is a wise choice to help navigate all the deals available and to work out which one would be the most cost-effective option.”