With the credit crunch and the restrictive lending over recent times, it now appears that lenders are beginning to have a degree of flexibility when offering new mortgage products.
In recent weeks we have seen lenders that had previously exited the market, now re enter the market, some with innovative and competitive products.

Buy to Let (BTL) lenders have also re entered the market, some with criteria that will allow lending on new-builds, student lets, houses in multiple occupancy, first-time buyers (FTB) and limited companies.
An upturn in product availability from lenders and a return to more accessible funding can only be good for the market.

A previous problem still remains with some lenders with the difficulty of obtaining funds and lending facilities for first-time buyers. The requirement for higher deposits, an unblemished credit history and even the need for a guarantor, in a world where employment uncertainty is growing, makes this area an extremely challenging one for both broker and clients.

A recent article showed that the average house-hunter is now aged 38, when they buy their first home, while only 5 per cent of potential first-time buyers currently have a deposit saved.
Restrictions in mortgage availability, together with a lack of finances to save for a deposit, have been blamed for the difficulties they face, according to research from Moneysupermarket.com.

Even though there has been a slowdown in house prices and a reduction in some areas, the need for a high cash deposit, is stopping a lot of people entering the market.
That’s why I see the recent introduction of 95% mortgages, the increased facilities for shared equity and shared ownership on new build, all a positive sign that confidence is indeed coming back to the market along with an overall increase in the number of products available in the market, for all types of borrowers.

We are getting an increased amount of daily updates from lenders, with new products and rates and when we speak with colleagues in the industry you see an increase in the number of enquires they are receiving and also the number of enquires Solicitors and Conveyancers are dealing with. Although enquires don’t always lead to a positive outcome, it does indicate that people are beginning to look ahead.

Saving as a big a deposit as possible will also be of benefit and by no means are we in a buoyant market, but I think the signs are positive, as long as the Industry learns from previous mistakes and people do not rush in and ensure they get the correct advice.