Fixed rate mortgages accounted for 71% of all loans for house purchase and remortgage in April, up 2% on March, and 17% on April 2005 new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reveals.
The CML says the increasing popularity of fixed rate products reflects attractive deals being offered by lenders as well as the desire among consumers to lock into low-rate long-term deals.
The survey also shows loans for house purchase accounted for 46% of all loans in April - up from 43% in March, but slightly lower than the 45% achieved in the same month last year. Remortgaging accounted for 36% of all loans, which is slightly lower than in March, and down by 5% on April 2005.
Loans to first-time buyers totalled 30,700 in April while the average first-time buyer loan now stands at £106,400, up from £103,839 in March and significantly higher than the £94,995 in April last year.
In April, first-time buyers borrowed 3.21 times their income to get a mortgage, up from 3.15 times in the previous month. But mortgage interest payments as a proportion of income have actually fallen to 16.2%, from a peak of 17% in June 2005.
CML director general Michael Coogan says the research illustrates stability in the housing market.
He says: The strong take-up of fixed-rate deals is encouraging because they give consumers confidence in their mortgage payments and allow them to plan ahead financially.
"It is also interesting to see that while both first-time buyers and movers are borrowing a greater multiple of their income to get a mortgage, their payments as a proportion of income are lower than in the same period last year. This is potentially due to the higher take-up of attractive fixed-rate products over the past year."
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