Bradford & Bingley: Market is stable

22 August 2005
The latest data shows that the UK’s housing market is stable, according to Bradford & Bingley.

The latest Council of Mortgage Lending figures showing a two per cent drop in lending in July.

Duncan Pownall, mortgage development manager for Bradford & Bingley, said that the figures came as no surprise but he still expressed concern at the low level of first-time buyers.

Mr Pownall said that the 29 per cent of loans going to first time buyers indicated the number of first-timers was “alarmingly low by historic standards”.

He also suggested that the estimated 800,000 now coming off good fixed rate deals from 2003 need to think carefully about their next move.

And he predicted that the popularity of fixed rate mortgages would continue to grow, adding: "As the average price of fixes decline from 5.36 per cent last month to 5.31 per cent we see their popularity grow to represent 50 per cent of total lending, the highest proportion since December 1998.

“Despite speculation that rates could fall further over the next 12 months, many borrowers are plumping for the security of fixed rates. We could see this trend continue until the pricing differential between fixed and variable rates widens enough to warrant a change in borrower mindset.”

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