What the papers say - 13th August 2008

The Times today reported that the number of mortgages approved for first-time buyers and home movers halved in the year to June, giving warning that the situation was set to deteriorate further as funding conditions remained difficult. The Times analysed vital statistics recently released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which showed that there was a general decrease in mortgages for first-time buyers, home movers and remortgagers. The Daily Mirror even stated that number of first-time buyers has slumped to a 34-year low, as in June just 56,600 made it on to the property ladder- the lowest figure since 1974.

The Daily Mail analysed figures provided by London & Country, which compared the best deals available from the nation’s biggest mortgage companies 12 months ago with what is available today. Mortgage rates have clearly increased, despite falls in the base rate and swap and Libor rates. For example, Nationwide BS, which had one of the best trackers 12 months ago at 0.37 percentage points below the base rate, now charges 0.68 points above. The biggest increase has come from Barclays, which had a rate 0.16 points below base rate 12 months ago, and now charges 1.39 points above- an increase of 1.55points, or £141 a month on a £150,000 mortgage.

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