Countrywide mortgage applications tail off after surge in March

From: Countrywide
Published: Mon May 17 2010

April saw a dip in activity despite a spike in mortgage applications during March, according to Countrywide, the UK's largest mortgage broker and property services Group.

The anticipated slowdown which is typical for April - was largely put down to the month's public holidays and school breaks, which was exacerbated by recent travel disruptions and the lead up to the election.

New mortgage applications grew by 20 percent in March but fell by 18 percent in April, while overall year-to-date applications grew 6 percent.

The findings are based on the activities of more than 700 mortgage consultants, which reveal that other key market indicators remained broadly positive with average interest rates and deposits showing marginal changes.

The average interest rate of Countrywide's Top 10 Mortgage Applications fell by 0.08 to 4.57 percent compared to March 10 - a fall of 0.66 percent in April 09.

The average deposit placed by home buyers was 20 percent, 1 percent less than in March 10 and 1 percent more than in April 09.

The split between fixed and tracker product sales changed slightly with 60 percent of customers opting for fixed products, a 1 percent fall on March. The percentage split has changed dramatically over the last year as tracker products represented just 3 percent of mortgage applications in April 09, reaching 47 percent at their peak in December 09.

Research highlights for April 2010 (based on the percentage of overall lending versus March 2010):

*UK mortgage applications: Applications for two year mortgage terms generated the highest volume of applications in April 10 an increase of 2 percent compared to the previous month and an increase of 28 percent on April 09. Overall, 85 percent of mortgage applications made in April 10 were for two and three year products a decrease of 4 percent from March 10 and a 22 percent increase on April 09.

*Interest rates: The average interest rate of Countrywide's Top 10 Mortgage Applications was 4.57 percent in April 10 (taking into account both transactional and remortgage customers) down 0.08 percent from March 10 and a 0.66 percent decrease on April 09.

*Loan to value (LTV): The average minimum deposit required for Countrywide's Top 10 Mortgage Applications was 20 percent in April 10 a 1 percent decrease on March 10 and an increase of 1 percent on April 09.

*Remortgage market: Fixed rate mortgages remain the most popular type of remortgage product with 70 percent of remortgage applications in April 10 being fixed rate products an increase of 4 percent from March 10. This was the fourth consecutive month where there has been an increase in customers taking out a fixed rate mortgage.

*Buy-to-let mortgages: 48 percent of buy-to-let mortgage applications in April 10 were tracker rates an increase of 4 percent on March 10 and a 42 percent increase on April 09.

*Early indications: Countrywide's Most Sourced Mortgages show that 6 of the 10 Top Most Sourced Products currently available are for those customers who have access to larger deposits, which will allow them to reap the benefits of mortgage products with competitively priced interest rates.

Countrywide's award-winning service has earned the business 55 high-profile industry awards in the last two years, with customers voting Countrywide Best Large Estate Agency Chain and Best Large Lettings Chain at the 2010 Estate Agency of The Year Awards. Other awards include Best Estate Agency, Best Letting Agency and Best Land & New Homes Agent of the Year at the 2009 Negotiator Awards, and Best Surveyor & Valuer at the 2009 Mortgage Strategy Awards.

Gemma Stacey
Group PR Manager

Lavells House
31 Hockliffe Street
Leighton Buzzard
Company: Countrywide
Contact Name: cwideonline
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 07515753344

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