The Daily Mail reported today that the number of mortgages available in the UK now stands at a paltry 2,282, down almost half from 5,040 this time last year and a massive drop from July 2007 when borrowers had 27,962 deals to choose from. Experts suggest that the hardest hit are those with smaller deposits, with only 128 schemes available up to 90% of the property value.
In a similarly gloomy vein, the Financial Times discussed a recent report by the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit, which concluded that despite falling property prices, UK housing remains unaffordable - with tighter lending criteria and a shortage of new homes being blamed. Again First Time Buyers and those with a small deposit are the most heavily impacted.
In savings news, the Daily Mail urged consumers coming to the end of their term in the next 6 months to move their money as soon as possible and prepare for their returns to fall by as much as half. The article suggests that anyone failing to move their money may find their provider transferring funds to a maturity account with rates as low as 0.08% before tax.
The Daily Express focussed on instant-access accounts, with experts advising savers to think carefully before committing to a fixed rate.