Northern Rock has revealed the enhanced competitiveness of its product range has seen mortgage applications jump by 70% in March, with the average LTV of new lending just 48%.
Mortgage redemption rates have slowed significantly, and are running at around half the average rate of 2008.
The bank said its debt management strategies are beginning to pay off, with its stock of unsold repossessed properties falling from 3620 in December 2008 to 3200 at the end of March.
However, residential arrears over three months have increased to 3.67% from 2.92% in December. Northern Rock said it had noted tentative signs of improvement in early arrears trends, reflecting the investment in its debt management capability and improved affordability levels as a result of falling interest rates.
"We are implementing our new business plan, which will enable us to move forward with our lending programme," says Gary Hoffman, chief executive at Northern Rock.
He continues: "The revised State aid application has been submitted and we are making good progress with the legal and capital restructuring of the business - which we expect to complete in the second half of the year.
"The economic environment remains difficult but our trading performance in the quarter was in line with our expectations and we saw some early signs of mortgage applications increasing in March, reflecting pricing adjustments to our current product range."IFAonline
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