The Financial Times today reported that mortgage approvals were down by 11 per cent to 64,000 in March, close to levels not seen since the fourth quarter of 1992, when the UK was in the throes of a property recession. In addition, the number of remortgages also fell in March, to 98,000.
The Daily Mail had a feature explaining how homebuyers are opting for longer-term fixed rate mortgages in a bid to protect themselves from the current credit turmoil. Accordingly, almost eight out of ten customers are asking to be put on medium-term fixed deals, for three years or more. The Daily Mail also reported that the Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns NatWest, have announced a reduction of up to 0.3 per cent on fixed-rate deals.
Finally, the Daily Express wrote that Nationwide, the UK's second-largest mortgage lender has withdrawn from the 95 per cent loan-to-value market and now insists on at least 10 per cent upfront. Moreover, it revealed it will cap the number of borrowers to be approved on its standard variable rate (SVR), due to drop from 6.74pc to 6.49pc tomorrow, and only those with 75 per cent LTV will qualify.