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Mortgage fraud on the increase

2010-03-02 © Moneyextra.com

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A report from the Credit Industry Fraud Prevention Service has discovered that mortgage fraud is on the rise.

CIFAS's Fraudscape report also show that overall levels of fraud have increased by around 10 per cent.

The rise is being blamed on the recovery in the housing market and possible help from ‘corrupt solicitors'.

It's thought that fraudsters are increasingly taking over more complex mortgage accounts as an alternative to conventional bank accounts.

The use of intermediaries working within the industry may be helping.

The scam is harder to pull off when mortgages are harder to obtain, but the recent loosening in the mortgage market has seen a small but significant upsurge in fraud.

This trend is bad news for mortgage borrowers, as lenders are likely to make it even harder to borrow, or try and recoup the cost of fraud from their honest customers.

If you've been affected by mortgage or identity-based fraud or just need some advice then get in contact with MoneyExtra.com.

We’re able to offer a range of help and advice.

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House repossessions are expected to rise to 45,000 next year - and homeless charity Shelter has indicated which families might be most at risk.The analysis shows that Corby in Leicestershire has the highest rate of at-risk homeowners, whilst a number of areas around London, the northeast and the M62 corridor, are also in need of some measures to help them keep their homes.Remortgaging properties could be a solution for many homeowners, particularly if they or their partner have lost their job or been forced to take a pay cut. This housing solution can reduce the amount paid back to lenders each month, which can ease financial problems.To find out more about remortgaging and to see if it's an apt solution for you, take a look around MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

More people are altering their mortgages to interest-only deals in the hope of saving money, according to the Financial Services Authority (FSA), but there are less risky ways to save cash.

Switching to these deals can save around £230 each month, but that could leave you paying much more in the long-term once you start tackling your housing debt, especially once the Bank of England base rate goes up.

A much more beneficial way of saving that kind of money – or more – is by making your home more energy efficient, which you will soon be able to do through the government's Green Deal.

This will help homeowners get free energy-saving equipment, which will be paid for by a portion of the savings they make on their bills.

For more money-saving tips, explore MoneyExtra.com.

A report from the National Association of Estate Agents may help those wanting to sell their house quickly and get a new mortgage.

The NAEA has come up with some top tips to help sellers price their property accurately.

It says it’s important to remember that housing markets are local. Sellers should research how much similar houses on their street have recently sold for – and keep an eye on which direction prices are going.

If prices are dropping by one per cent every month and sellers want to sell within three – they should drop their price by three per cent at the outset. This will give them a more competitive price.

The NAEA also advises people to put themselves in the buyer’s position. Most buyers are thinking about what they’d like to change in a property – there is no point putting a value on sentimentality.

To find the right mortgage for you, get in touch with the experts at MoneyExtra.com.

It's taking first time buyers up to five years to save up a deposit in order for them to get mortgages, according to new figures.

Santander Mortgages has found that just under two million (1.9m) people have been waiting up to half a decade to get enough money together, whilst the average time is three years and four months.

One-in-nine (11 per cent) people surveyed thought they could save enough money within a year, although this figure is down from one-in-five (19 per cent) three years ago.

Nearly three-in-ten (28 per cent) people are so desperate to get deposits for mortgages that they've taken on second jobs to boost their savings, whilst a little over a quarter (27 per cent) are considering getting a loan.

To get help with your savings and mortgages, contact the experts at MoneyExtra.com today.

Mortgages on the up

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New figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) have shown that more mortgages were approved in March compared to the previous month.

More than 31,000 (31,660) home loans were granted during the third month of the year, which was five per cent more than in February and represented the greatest number since July last year.

However, the figure was down on March 2010, when more than 35,000 (35,124) mortgages were granted and even this level is still only around half the expected amount in a stable housing market.

Despite this, people looking for cheap mortgages may be in luck, as the positive growth figures released last week have prompted the analysts at IHS Global Insight to forecast that the anticipated rise in the Bank of England base rate won't happen until November.

To find the right mortgage for you, get in touch with the experts at MoneyExtra.com.

Buying a house is 14 per cent cheaper than renting, new research has found.

According to the Halifax the average costs associated with buying a three bed house was £608 in March while it costs £706 to rent a property of the same size.

This fall in the cost of renting is in contrast to three years ago when it was actually 43 per cent more expensive to buy a house then rent one.

Halifax says that the reason the cost of buying a home has fallen so much is because of the decline in the cost of a mortgage since 2008.

If you want a new mortgage logon to moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market for you.

Gross mortgage lending increased by 21 per cent in March as people continued to remortgage their house, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show.

However, this is still two per cent down on lending figures for March 2010.

According to CML chief economist Bob Pannell, the housing market has "emerged hesitantly from hibernation".

He says that household finances are still under pressure which has led to low levels of people entering the housing market.

However, lenders expect credit to improve this quarter which "should help to underpin house purchase activity - albeit at pretty low levels".

If you need a new mortgage logon to moneyextra.com and let us find the right deal to suit your needs.

The housing market remained flat in March according to the latest figures.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) housing market survey for March found that there was falling demand and low sales last month.

According to RICS caution over the economy and the fear of future interest rate hikes are compounding the difficulties first time buyers are having when getting a mortgage.

However, the survey did find strong regional variations with large parts of the Midlands and North East seeing buyer interest drop while Scotland, the South East and Wales fared better with demand increasing. London was the only part of the country to see prices rise.

If you want a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us find the best deal to suit your needs.

The number of 90 per cent loan to value (LTV) mortgages is set to increase in the coming months, according to one expert.

Andy Pratt, chief operating officer at Alexander Hall says that the increase in higher LTV mortgages will lead to greater competition in the market and will increase affordability for homeowners.

He argues that these new mortgages have slightly different lending criteria - leading to more choice in the market.

His comments come as an e.surv report found that mortgage approvals rose sharply in March as loan to values reached a three year high.

If you want a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market to find the best deal for your needs.

Only seven per cent of borrowers would consider an offset mortgage, according to the Yorkshire Building society.

The survey from the mutual, also found that there was a lack of awareness in the market about offset products as only 40 per cent of borrowers with large savings balances were offered them by lenders.

While 30 per cent of those questioned didn't even know what an offset mortgage was, one third had no idea how one would work and a further third had an incorrect understanding of the product.

Now the Yorkshire Building society says that as many as 10 million homeowners could be missing out on the benefits of an offset mortgage.

If you want a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us find the right deal for you.

Mortgage customers who have come to the end of their mortgage deal are more sensitive to a rise in their monthly payments than a rise in the Bank of England Base Rate.

New research from First Direct has found that of those free to leave their mortgage deal, ten per cent would definitely leave if interest rates went up by one per cent. However, more than four times as many would move provider if their payments went up by £100.

According to First Direct this means that a lot of customers on standard variable rates (SVRs) are likely to receive a rate shock when interest rates go up.

If you need a new mortgage deal logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market for you.

House prices have gone up for the second month in a row, according to the latest Nationwide house price index.

The figures show that prices increased by 0.5 per cent last month. This means that they have modestly increased in three of the last four months.

Because of these recent rises house prices are now 0.1 per cent higher than they were in March 2010.

However, according to Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist "this is unlikely to mark the beginning of a strong upturn in prices" as the economy remains uncertain and consumer confidence is low.

If you want a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market to find the right deal for your needs.

Remortgaging has hit a 26 month high according to new statistics.

The Bank of England's lending to individuals report shows that there were nearly 34,000 loans approved for remortgages which is the highest level it had been since December 2008.

The figures also show that the number of loans approved for house purchases increased by 815 in February compared to a month earlier.

However, according to Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, despite this modest pickup in lending "the housing market clearly is still very weak which does not bode well for house prices".

If you are looking for a new remortgage deal logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market to find the best deal for your needs.

A new shared equity scheme could help 10,000 first time buyers get on the property ladder.

The measures, worth £250 million, were announced in Wednesday's [March 23rd 2011] Budget. The FirstBuy scheme will last for a year and will help buyers with incomes of £60,000 and under buy a new build house.

Under the scheme buyers will need a five per cent deposit and the government and housebuilders will put up a further 10 per cent as an equity loan. This means that buyers will be able to get a 75 per cent loan to value mortgage.

If you want a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market to find the right deal for you.

Homeowners are asking more for their property thanks to seasonal variations and the warmer weather, Briffy.com has said.

According to the latest report from FindaProperty.com the average property asking price increased by 0.5 per cent in March, which is the largest monthly rise since May 2010.

David Amstell, founder at Briffy.com has said that activity in the property market usually picks up once the "doom and gloom of winter" has passed.

However, Mr Amstell believes that the continuing lack of mortgage finance means that there won't "any great increase" in property values in the future.

If you want to find a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market to find the right deal for your needs.

84 per cent of homeowners could be missing out on the chance to take years of their mortgage by not making overpayments, according to Barclays.

The bank says that homeowners should start making extra payments on their mortgage while interest rates remain low.

It carried out research with over 1,000 borrowers and found that only ten per cent were currently overpaying their mortgage.

Barclays say that even paying as little as £50 a month on a £150,000 mortgage over 25 years would get the mortgage paid off two years four months earlier than its original term.

If you want to reduce the cost of your mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market for you.

Homeowners should regularly review their mortgages to check they are getting the best deal, one expert has claimed.

Catherine Hearnden, director of MyMortgageDirect has advised people to review their payments at least once a year to check they are on the right deal.

She also warns that anyone on an interest only deal should be taking advantage of the low interest rate to either make overpayments or switch to a repayment mortgage.

Meanwhile, recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that mortgage lending dipped by 26 per cent in January compared to December.

If you want to make sure you are getting the best deal on your mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us find the best deal to suit your needs.

There has been a sudden slump in mortgage lending, new industry figures have shown.

According to the Council of Mortgage lenders (CML) "an unusual combination of factors" led to a 26 per cent drop in mortgage lending in January.

It says that a fall at this time of year is normal but a decrease of this size is unusual. It has attributed the drop to the effect of government spending cuts, rising inflation and tax measures which have put pressure on potential buyers. While the bad weather in December and uncertainty over interest rates has added to this to cause a slump in the property market.

If you are looking for a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us do the hard work for you.

Mortgage customers looking for "certainty, stability and help with budgeting" should opt for a fixed-rate deal, Nationwide have said.

Martyn Dyson, mortgage specialist at the lender has advised any customers who are worried about interest rates going up to look at a fixed rate deal.

He has also pointed out that consumers need to shop around for the best mortgage deal possible by comparing products in the market place.

According to Mr Dyson people "may think they are on the best rate available, but they could actually have a pleasant surprise if they shop around, as they may be able to save some money on their mortgage."

If you want to find a new fixed rate mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us find the right deal for your needs.

Almost a third of all mortgage holders are taking advantage of the UK's historically low interest rates to up their repayments.

By overpaying on your mortgage while interest rates are low, it is possible to reduce the principal much more quickly or to cut the mortgage term.

53 per cent of those overpaying told personal finance advice website Moneybasics.co.uk that they were aiming to cut the lifetime of their mortgages.

15 per cent were aiming to reduce their future repayments, with seven per cent citing fears of future interest rate increases as the primary reason for overpaying on their mortgages now.

The website found also that 37 per cent of those overpaying did so by more than £2,500 in the last year.

If you're looking to minimise your mortgage repayments or to remortgage, then get in touch with MoneyExtra.com today.

More and more lenders are increasing the interest rates charged on fixed-rate mortgages.

According to the Daily Mail, Abbey, the Principality Building Society, the Clydesdale Bank and the Skipton Building Society all increased rates on their fixed-rate mortgage products last week alone.

The newspaper claims that the average interest rate charged on fixed-rate mortgages is now at a nine month high.

Although Bank of England rates are at an histiorically low 0.5 per cent, commentators seem united in anticipating an imminent increase in order to combat inflation.

Indeed, a recent survey of Barclays Bank mortgage customers found that 71 per cent are expecting interest rates to increase.

Melanie Bien of mortgage broker Private Finance, told the Daily Express: “Fixed-rate loans are much pricier than they were just weeks ago. This is because the money markets have already priced in two or three quarter-point increases in the base rate this year."

If you're looking for a good deal on a fixed-rate mortgage, call MoeyExtra.com today.

More and more lenders are increasing the interest rates charged on fixed-rate mortgages.

According to the Daily Mail, Abbey, the Principality Building Society, the Clydesdale Bank and the Skipton Building Society all increased rates on their fixed-rate mortgage products last week alone.

The newspaper claims that the average interest rate charged on fixed-rate mortgages is now at a nine month high.

Although Bank of England rates are at an histiorically low 0.5 per cent, commentators seem united in anticipating an imminent increase in order to combat inflation.

Indeed, a recent survey of Barclays Bank mortgage customers found that 71 per cent are expecting interest rates to increase.

Melanie Bien of mortgage broker Private Finance, told the Daily Express: “Fixed-rate loans are much pricier than they were just weeks ago.

This is because the money markets have already priced in two or three quarter-point increases in the base rate this year."

If you're looking for a good deal on a fixed-rate mortgage, call MoeyExtra.com today.

There is more bad news for borrowers as new industry figures show that mortgage lending remains subdued.

The statistics from the British Banker's Association (BBA) show that the amount of loans approved for house purchases in January was 29 per cent lower then it had been a year before.

Although this was slightly higher than it had been in December banks only approved just under 29,000 mortgages at the beginning of this year.

However, the BBA did find that there was a five per cent rise in remortgages in January which was up 28 per cent on the same time in 2010.

If you want to find a mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market for you.

Homeowners would encounter financial problems if interest rates were to go up too quickly, one expert has claimed.

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at mortgage advisers John Charcol says that mortgage customers have become used to low interest rates which will create "more of a shock it will become when they do start to go up if they go up too quickly."

Interest rates have remained at the historically low rate of 0.5 per cent for nearly two years but the latest minutes from the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) showed that three members voted to increase rates this month. This is compared to just two in January.

If you want to find the lowest rate for your mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com to find the best deal for your needs.

The housing market is facing "paralysis", the estate agent Rightmove has said.

According to its latest house price index many sellers are simply refusing to drop their asking prices. In fact they found that asking prices actually increased by 3.1 per cent in the last month.

But with the lack of mortgage availability for would-be buyers the estate agent is warning that the market will seize up.

Miles Shipside director of the estate agents says that as a result "'Mr Average' will be left out in the cold in the buying and selling game" unless they get given an inheritance.

If you want to find a new mortgage deal logon to Moneyextra.com and let us find the right deal for your needs.

First-time buyers are increasingly getting on the property ladder as a couple, new research has found.

The latest Rightmove consumer confidence survey has found that 72.5 per cent of first-time buyers will purchase as a couple over the next year. That's an increase of 10 per cent over the last 18 months and comes at the same time as a drop in single people buying a home.

According to Rightmove director Miles Shipside, a combination of tough mortgage lending criteria and the economic downturn means that "buying alone is becoming less viable." He adds that instead buyers "are adjusting to market conditions by coupling-up in their pursuit of home ownership.”

If you want to find the best mortgage deal logon to Moneyextra.com and let us help you find the mortgage that suits your needs.

First-time buyers need to save over a year's salary just to get on the property ladder according to industry figures.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has said that in the second half of 2010 the typical deposit a first-time buyer needed was £31,500 up from just over £12,000 in 2007.

The CML released the figures as the mortgage industry and the government met to discuss the plight of first-time buyers in the housing market.

It says that there is no magic bullet to solve the first-time buyer problem and instead say it is "likely to be a gradual process" as confidence in the market returns.

If you want help finding a mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us do the hard work for you.

The number of people getting their homes repossessed has fallen, according to new industry figures.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has said that there was a 24 per cent fall in repossessions while arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of an outstanding mortgage balance fell by 13 per cent last year.

The figures have been welcomed by Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at independent mortgage adviser John Charcol, who says that "apart from the human misery that [repossession] causes, it also causes extra costs on society."

He argues that "if those people are homeless, then it falls to the local authority to re-house them."

If you want help finding a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us find the best deal for your needs.

Caution is still dominating the housing market,the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has said.

Their latest UK housing market survey has found that thanks to the continued lack of buyer demand and a lack of property supply the market remained "sluggish" in January.

The state of the economy and a predicted rise in interest rates later in the year means that house buyers remain "cautious" and unwilling to commit to buying a new home.

According to Rics spokesperson, Ian Perry, "uncertainty over the prospects for employment, alongside the shortage of mortgage finance particularly for first-time buyers continues to weigh heavily on transactions levels."

If you want a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and compare the whole of the market.

Individuals currently owe more than the country produces in a year, according to credit action.

Their latest debt statistics show that at the end of the year total UK personal debt stood at over £1,450 billion.

They found that total lending decreased in December thanks to a fall in secured borrowing but consumer credit increased by £0.2 billion. This means that people now owe £214 billion in unsecured credit, on things like credit cards, loans and overdrafts.

Credit Action says that excluding mortgages people now owe £8,480 and when you add in mortgages the figures rises to over £16,000.

If you want to bring down the cost of your borrowing logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the market for you.

The mortgage industry must do more to help first-time buyers, one expert has warned.

According to Timothy Lambert at Ducalian in order to stop the property market remaining "static" more needs to be down to help buyers get on the property ladder.

However, Mr Lambert does warn that whatever, solution is found to help first-time buyers buy a home it will lead to increased debt.

Figures from the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) show that first-time buyers made up a smaller proportion of all mortgage borrowers last year than they did in 2009.

If you want help finding a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market to find a deal to suit your needs.

The government has promised to consider a cap on the interest charged by high cost lenders.

MPs have been debating whether there should be a cap on the amount people have to pay when going to a payday leder, which according to one Labour politician can be as much as 10,000 per cent.

Stella Creasy had been calling for a limit on the amount short-term lenders can charge to come into force immediately but an amendment to the motion by Conservative MP Robin Walker won the majority vote. This means that regulators will be given more time to consider the new measures.

If you want to find more affordable credit logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market to find the best deal for your needs.

Any rise in interest rates is unlikely to have a big impact on mortgage approvals according to one expert.

Catherine Hearnden, from MyMortgageDirect believes that the number of mortgage approvals won't drop just because interest rates go up.

However, Ms Hearnden does believe that any rise in interest rates would have a negative impact on consumer demand for mortgages as many would "panic" about the rising cost of a loan.

But according to Ms Hearnden the margins on tracker rates have come down "so a rise in interest rates wouldn't affect new mortgages that much, as the rate wouldn't be that much different to what they were getting a year ago".

If you want a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market for you.

House prices fell for the fourth consecutive month in December, according to the Land Registry.

Their House Price Index shows that prices dropped by 0.2 per cent in the last month of the year. However, overall house prices rose by 1.5 per cent in 2010.

They say that five regions of the UK experienced property price increases over the last 12 months with London seeing the biggest rise. The capital saw house prices go up by 6.2 per cent in 2010 whereas prices in the North East decreased by 3.3 per cent.

If you want to find a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole of the market to find the best deal for your needs.

Mortgage lending remained week throughout the whole of 2010, according to new industry figures.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) say that the number of loans approved by the big banks for house buyers fell by 10 per cent last year.

However, according to MyMortgageDirect this drop was not fuelled by a lack of demand from buyers.

Catherine Hearnden, director of the company, says that the drop in approvals was caused by strict lending criteria rather than a decrease in consumer demand.

In fact Ms Hearnden argues that mortgage demand picked up last year but "because of the inflexibility being shown by the lenders" many loans weren't approved.

If you want a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us find the best deal for you.

House prices ended 2010 on a positive note with growth of one per cent in December, according to Assetz.

The company's House Price Watch suggests that recent monthly falls in house prices may well have bottomed out.

They say that prices could "pull back slightly" at the beginning of this year but we are unlikely to see a "double dip" in the housing market.

However, consumer confidence still remains an issue in the market as people continue to fear for the safety of their jobs.

And even though there are some rises in house prices Assetz say that banks are still reluctant to lend.

Despite this they predict that house prices will rise by five per cent this year.

If you want a new mortgage logon to moneyextra.com and let us find the best deal for you.

Rising inflation means that homeowners are rushing to "fix" their mortgage deals ahead of a possible rise in interest rates.

Figures released by the Office for National statistics show Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation increased in December. CPI jumped from 3.3 per cent to 3.7 per cent and RPI, which include mortgage repayments, rose from 4.7 per cent to 4.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, some lenders such as First Direct, Northern Rock and Skipton have already started to withdraw or increase some of their fixed rate deals.

If you want to find the best fixed rate mortgage deal logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the whole market to find the best deal for your needs.

December's heavy snow slowed down the housing market, a new report shows.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) sales fell in December but overall the housing market stabilised in the last three months of the year.

They found that the average number of completed sales per surveyor stabilised at around 15.2 which is up from 14.8.

And looking ahead surveyors' expectations for the next few months edged up as eight per cent more expected sales to rise and many predict that the housing market will pick up in spring.

However, RICs did find that first-time-buyers are still struggling to find mortgages which could restrain the market.

If you want help finding a mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us find the right deal for you.

The UK mortgage market remained subdued in November according to new industry figures.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) say that the number of loans approved for house purchases was the same as October in the month before Christmas.

They say that loans worth £6.3 billion were advanced in November which is down 15 per cent on the same month in 2009, when buyers rushed to beat the end of the stamp duty holiday.

However, there is some good news for the market the figures show that the number of mortgages approved for first-time buyers increased by three per cent compared to October.

If you want to find a mortgage deal, logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the market for you.

The remortgage market has probably reached its lowest point and will start to pick up this year, one expert has claimed.

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at independent mortgage advisors John Charcol, believes that the lending market is likely to remain depressed for the rest of 2011.

And according to Mr Boulger we could even struggle to see the same level of activity as we did last year.

But while lending as a whole will remain subdued the remortgage market is set to pick up.

A recent survey from Hometrack predicts that mortgage lending is likely to remain flat for the rest of 2011 as buyers continue to struggle to get a loan.

If you want to find a mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us do the hard work for you.

Low interest rates are creating a generation of "spoilt" mortgage customers, Unbiased.co.uk has argued.

They say that on average the fixed rate deal that homeowners would be prepared to fix at is now 3.3 per cent, which they say is unrealistic.

According to the site the low interest rate period has lead homeowners to lose "touch with mortgage reality" as best buys for three year fixed rate deals are currently two per cent more than the average homeowner is willing to pay - at around 5.1 per cent.

And with standard variable rate mortgages (SVRs) lower than best buy fixed rate deals homeowners are opting to stay on their current SVR rather than remortgage to a fixed rate deal.

If you want to find a good mortgage deal logon to Moneyextra.com and let us compare the market for you.

The demand for mortgages is expected to drop in the first few months of this year according to the Bank of England.

Bank of England's Credit Conditions Survey found that lenders think that homebuyers will put off buying a house in the first three months of this year, causing the demand for mortgages to drop.

The survey also found that demand for mortgages fell sharply in the last quarter of 2010 and expect this to continue for the beginning of this year.

Recent figures from the Bank have shown that demand for remortgaging was high at the end of last year but lenders don't expect this to continue.

If you want to find a new mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us do the hard work for you.

The number of mortgages approved in November jumped slightly figures from the Bank of England show.

According to the stats lending secured on dwellings rose £0.8 billion in November, compared to a £1.2 billion increase in October, however this is slightly above the previous six-month average of £0.7 billion.

And it was remortgaging that drove the increase with approvals for remortgaging rising from October as well as being higher than the previous six-month average.

While earlier figures from the British Banker's Association (BBA) back up this trend as they claim borrowers are choosing to replace expiring fixed term mortgages before rates rise.

If you want to find the best mortgage for your needs logon to Moneyextra.com and let us do the hard work for you.

Consumers are likely to see their mortgages increase next year according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

According to the CBI inflation will remain high in 2011 which is likely to lead the Bank of England to increase interest rates and as they go up so will the amount people have to spend on their mortgages.

However, according to Paul Holmes from Firstrung while an interest rate rise will lead to more repossessions as household finances are stretched interest rates are unlikely to go up next year.

He believes that the Bank of England will also look to America's stance before increasing rates.

If you want help finding the best deal on your mortgage logon to Moneyextra.com and let us find the best deal for your needs.

Consumers need to review their spending before considering a loan, Cashquestions.com has said.

Annie Shaw editor of the site made the comments after it was revealed that over £110 million had been lent through peer-to-peer lending site Zopa.

However, according to Ms Shaw while peer-to-peer lending can offer good rates it is always crucial to "review your spending, to try to cut down and manage the money that you need to borrow".

She also warns that customers who are continually refused loans should take this as a sign that they have a bad credit rating and review their borrowing habits.

If you want to find the best loan rate logon to Moneyextra.com and we can find the best deal to suit your needs.

Mortgage lending fell five per cent in November new industry figures show.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) say lending dropped from £11.6 billion in October to an estimated £11.1 billion last month.

This is ten per cent down on last year but according to the CML this is due to the distortion caused by the end of last year's stamp duty concession.

The CML say that mortgage lending always declines at this time of year "but both demand for mortgage borrowing and the supply of funds for lending remain heavily constrained."

And they believe that the subdued lending is going to continue into 2011.
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Millions of mortgage holders will be at risk if the interest rate goes up, the Bank of England is warning.

The Bank's Financial Stability Report says that there will be an increase in defaults if interest rates were to rise rapidly or income fell.

They found that around two thirds of UK mortgage holders are on "floating interest rates" and more are moving across to standard variable rates as current deals end. This means that if rates were to rise they would be more at risk as they would see an increase in their monthly mortgage bill.

And according to the Bank more could struggle to pay the bills.

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The property market is being stifled by thanks to a lack of buyers the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has said.

The latest RICS UK Housing Market survey shows that the housing market continued to slow in November.

Forty-four per cent of chartered surveyors reported that prices rose rather than fell last month which is a slight improvement on October. However, RICS lack of buyer demand continues to "stifle the market" with new buyer enquires falling for sixth consecutive month.

They say that first-time buyers are in short supply because of the large deposits needed to get on the property ladder alongside the lack of mortgages.

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The size of the deposit first-time buyers need to get a house fell in October according to industry figures.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) shows that in October they needed a 20 per cent deposit to get a house. This compares to the 24 per cent deposit they needed in September.

However, its not all good news for the mortgage market as the CML figures show that lending for both house purchases and remortgaging dropped in October.

The statistics show that there were 46,000 loans for house purchase which was down four per cent in number and six per cent by value from September.

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The mortgage market thawed in November, the latest mortgage monitor from e.surv has shown.

The survey from the firm of chartered surveyors found that more mortgages were approved last month, with lenders also offering more generous loan to value (LTV) ratios.

They found that the number of mortgage valuations conducted grew 3.5 per cent in the month, which was the first month-on-month increase since April.

And the average LTV ratio went up by one percentage point reaching 57.7 per cent in November, the first increase since June.

However, the e.surv did find that those buying at the higher end of the market had better LTV ratios than those buying average priced houses.

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Any recovery in the housing market will depend on the availability of mortgages and interest rates the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has said.

The association has revealed its predictions for the housing market in 2011. The NAEA believes that there will be a rise in 'postcode power' – with premium areas recovering faster than others.

However, the NAEA's chief executive Peter Bolton King warns that any recovery will be dependent on the major lenders making mortgage finance more available. Any interest rate decision made by the Bank of England will also have a huge effect with mortgage holders and any would be buyers hoping they remain low.

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2011 is going to be a good year for the first-time buyer according to a housing expert.

A survey from FirstRungNow.com of would be home owner's shows that 40 per cent could get together a ten per cent deposit on a home, although for some that wouldn’t be enough to get a mortgage.

According to the website with prices likely to remain subdued and low interest rates to stay it could be the perfect time to get on the property ladder.

And it seems that first-time buyers agree of those sampled, two thirds believe that 2011 will be a better time to buy a first home.

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Not shopping around for a loan could be costing Brits dearly according to new research.

Sainsbury's Finance has found that a third of people who take out a personal loan don't shop around meaning that they could be missing out on the best deal.

They found that 54 per cent of people chose their own bank or current account provider when choosing a lender and of these, 39 per cent did not look elsewhere for a competitive quote.

They also found that older people are less likely to shop around for a number of quotes. Over 65s obtained an average of 1.8 quotes whilst 25 to 34 year olds obtained almost twice the number of quotes before taking out a loan.

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First-time buyers are being "frozen-out" of a two-tier property market, according to one industry expert.

A spokesman from PricedOut has said that many young people have been forced onto the rental market because they cannot afford a big enough deposit to get on the property ladder.

As a result he believes that "many first-time buyers have been frozen out of the property market for years now and high deposit barriers are forming a particularly big hurdle at the moment."

And he added that while current homeowners are enjoying cheaper interest rates on their mortgages first-time buyers are simply not able to get on the housing ladder.

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Mortgage lending remained subdued in October, new industry figures have shown.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) total mortgage lending in October was £12.4bn, which was the same as in September but the lowest October figure for a decade.

And the situation is unlikely to get any better in the coming months the CML predict that lending values will continue to fall month-on-month because "underlying lending volumes rose sharply in the latter part of 2009 as borrowers rushed to take advantage of the stamp duty concession before the end of the year."

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House prices fall

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Its official house prices fell in recent months. New government figures have confirmed that prices dropped 0.7 per cent in the three months to September.

The figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) support other surveys from lenders such as the Halifax and the Nationwide, and from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) which all show that prices dropped.

This alongside data on mortgage lending have all pointed to a downturn in prices and activity since the early summer.

However, over the year as a whole house prices have risen in all UK countries except Northern Ireland.

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The housing market contracted in October as the number of buyers and sellers fell back according to the National Association of Estate agents.

However, despite this estate agents reported that sales levels did hold up, with the average branch selling seven properties in the month which was the same as September.

The housing market normally dips slightly in the run up to Christmas but the problem has been made worse by the fact that sellers are unwilling to accept falling prices and buyers are still struggling to get a mortgage.

This meant that only 218 house hunters registered with an estate agent in October compared to 247 in September.

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The number of people struggling to pay their mortgage has gone up by a staggering 78 per cent in the last year the housing charity Shelter is warning.

The results of a YouGov survey shows that three million people, which is equivalent to one in six, constantly struggle to pay their mortgage.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter has said that this research "shows what a difficult year it has been for many homeowners, with thousands of people literally hanging on to their homes by the skin of their teeth."

And with the threat of job losses, interest rate rises and increasing bills Mr Robb believes that we could be "faced with a sudden surge of people at risk of losing their home in the coming months."

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Lower property prices are causing first-time buyers to return to the property market.

According to Rightmove house price falls are causing a tentative recovery in the number of first-time buyers looking to get on the housing ladder.

They say that more than a quarter of people looking to buy a house are taking the plunge for the first time- this is up from a low of 22 per cent in July.

The group claim that rise coincides with a rise in the number of people who expect house prices to fall over the coming year with a third of first time buyers expecting prices to drop in the next 12 months.

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Millions of borrowers could be pushed into financial difficulty if the interest rate goes up even slightly a former Bank of England economist has warned.

Danny Gabay believes that so called "zombie households" who have relied on low interest rates on their mortgages to make ends meet could face financial ruin if the base rate were to rise.

And it is a view backed up by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, according to figures seen by the Sunday Telegraph Almost three million homeowners would struggle to pay their mortgage if interest rates rose by just 2 percentage points,

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There are further house price falls on the way according to the latest report from property specialist Hometrack.

Their latest house price survey shows that prices fell by 0.9 per cent in October, which is the biggest monthly fall since January 2009.

They say that falling demand and an increase in the housing supply will continue to push prices down.

And according to Richard Donnell, Hometrack's director of research house prices are likely to remain subdued.

He says that "further price falls are inevitable in the run up to Christmas and are likely to continue into the first half of 2011."

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Consumer demand for lending remained week in September, according to new figures from the Bank of England.

The statistics show that the mortgage market remained on a plateau with the number of mortgages approved for house purchases almost unchanged from the previous month at just over 47,000.

While net lending was down on the previous month but they were higher than they were in July.

These figures come as the Home Builders Federation have said that the average first time buyer would have to save every single penny of their earnings for more than two years in order to get a deposit large enough to get on the housing lader.

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Just a few days after figures from the Council of Mortgage lenders showed that secured lending had dipped, there is even more evidence that consumers are shunning mortgages because of financial uncertainty.

The figures from the British Bankers Association (BBA) show that a downward trend in borrowing continued in September.

The statistics show that net lending, which strips out redemptions and repayments, was just £1.6 billion during the month, which is down on the previous month's total of £2.5 billion and the lowest figure since October 2000.

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There has been an increase in the number of people taking out unsecured loans according to new industry figures.

The Bank of England Trends in Lending report shows that although consumer credit as a whole was slightly negative in August there was a rise in the number of unsecured loans. The number of people taking out credit cards, however, fell.

And according to Martin Bamford, chartered financial planner at Informed Choice, the rise in unsecured loans could be down to the fact that people are “facing greater financial pressure following the recession.”

However, he does caution that “debt tends to breed more debt,” so anyone taking out an unsecured loan could be storing up problems for the future.

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Just days after it was revealed that mortgage lending had dropped to a ten-year low for September the Bank of England is warning that house prices could fall next year.

The Bank's Trends in Lending report shows that lenders expect house prices to “remain little changed or to decline slightly in 2011”.

It said that mortgage approvals had been lower than expected because of the "uncertainty" surrounding the spending cuts and a lack of confidence among homebuyers."

Meanwhile, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that mortgage lending has slumped to its lowest September level since 2000.

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Mortgage lending has slumped to its lowest September level for ten years, new industry figures show.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) say that gross mortgage lending totaled an estimated £12 billion last month. This is down one per cent from the £12.1 billion lent in August and down seven per cent from September 2009

This is the lowest September level since 2000 when lending stood at £10 billion.

Meanwhile, the CML figures have been described as a "shocker" by one broker as lending usually picks up after a quiet August.

Brian Murphy of brokers the Mortgage Advice Bureau believes that with no sign of a traditional post summer bounce the figures don’t "bode well for the rest of the year and early 2011".

Leading body for the property market, the Council of Mortgages Lenders, has urged the government not to restrict state support for borrowers who are currently struggling.

The comments come in the context of the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review which takes place today (October 20th), in which the coalition will look to make further public cuts to bolster the nation's recovery.

The CML say that help coming from the state has played a major role in keeping repossessions in check during the mortgages downturn.

The organisation however, is keen to praise the measures being taken by the FSA on regulation for mortgages – working towards a sustainable and flexible mortgage market.

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The tough mortgages market, which currently exists, is not going to improve any time soon for first-time buyers, according to a leading estate agent.

Knight Frank says the reality for people coming into the housing market for the first time, is that they are going to find it very difficult to find satisfaction when it comes to mortgages.

The comments come as a report published by Genworth Financial, says that since 2006 around 100,000 first-time buyers have been priced out of their entrance to the property market – thanks to inflated deposits.

The average cost of a deposit on a first home in the UK was found to be £18,600.

If you are becoming frustrated when it comes to finding luck with mortgages, then get online at MoneyExtra to give yourself the best chance of joining the property market.

The parents of young consumers who are trying to get on the property ladder with first-time buyer mortgages are uncertain about how to help their grown up children.

New research from the Halifax shows that almost four out of ten parents of people aged 18 to 35 have little knowledge of the mortgages market, with more than half not willing to seek financial advice in order to become more savvy.

Almost 80 per cent of parents say mortgages are harder to come by when trying to get a first home today, than it was when they were joining the property ladder several years ago.

Reassuringly however, almost a third of parents want to help their offspring with finances for their first house.

To get advice on all the options available for your offspring or if you’re after mortgages for the first time yourself, then log on to MoneyExtra today.

The closure of a government backed scheme to help homebuyers, has meant that £400 million worth of mortgages debt has been taken on by the taxpayer.

The home credit debt was considered too risky to be taken on by Britain's banks, resulting in the HomeBuy Direct initiative now being put onto the shoulders of the state.

The scheme helped more than 10,000 UK residents into ownership – but its' termination has now meant that taxpayers must now foot the bill for the most high-risk portion of a £2.5 billion amount of mortgages.

In a statement the The Council of Mortgage Lenders said it would not make financial sense for a bank to bridge the funding gap being occupied by the housebuilder and the government.

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Proposals by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to reform the mortgages market could leave many potential borrowers "frozen out".

Leading mortgages body The Council of Mortgage Lenders, has said it fears that more stringent rules regarding the responsibility of home lending could mean 'good' borrowers are set to suffer.

The organisation say that if the government plans for the future of mortgages were applied to the last five years, up to half the mortgages that were successfully granted to homeowners, would not have been possible.

Among the proposals put forward by the FSA include an 'affordability' assessment for all applications, and this would be based on a repayment structure lasting no longer than 25 years.

To find out how to face the changes expected for mortgages with your head held high, then getting online to MoneyExtra will mean we can start doing the hard work for you.

The new entrant into the mortgages market, Tesco, has had its bid to start lending to consumers delayed by the national regulator.

The news could be seen as a setback for the government's bid to enhance the level of competition in the banking sector, as the Financial Services Authority look to have toughened up the approval process.

Tesco's attempts to gain permission to trade as a home loan business could now be set back by as long as 12 months time.

A spokesperson for Tesco however, said that the The FSA is merely being careful, because the new process is very difficult to undertake.

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Residents in the UK holding mortgages, managed to pay off as much as six billion pounds during the second quarter of this year, according to the Bank of England.

Homeowners picked up the rate at which they decided to repay the creditors of their mortgages in a bid to remove as much debt as possible in the face of ongoing austerity measures.

Debt on mortgages was reduced by almost six point two billion pounds throughout the three months leading to June.

This was the ninth quarter in a row where the amount of money unlocked from mortgages saw a negative return, and the biggest proportion of equity residents have made into their property since early last year.

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The number mortgage approvals fell in August according to new figures from the Bank of England.

The statistics from the Bank show that approvals for new home loans dropped to their lowest level for half a year last month.

The number of mortgages fell to just over 47,000 from over 48,000 in July.

And it's not just mortgage approvals that fell, the Bank figures show that UK consumers repaid more unsecured debt than they took out in August.

Net consumer credit - which includes credit card borrowing, overdrafts and personal loans - fell by £120 million pounds last month.

This it is the biggest drop in unsecured lending since November 2009.

As a result the amount of personal debt people now hold has also fallen to £1.43 trillion, the lowest since February 2008.

The Skipton building society has become the latest lender to restrict its interest only mortgages.

They have announced that from October 1st they will only offer the mortgages with a minimum of 75 per cent loan to value.

This means that borrowers will need to find a deposit of 25 per cent in order to get an interest only mortgage from the lender.

Plus the maximum that could be borrowed will only be £500,000 and anyone wanting one of the mortgages must have a suitable payment vehicle in place.

And Skipton is not the first to restrict their interest only mortgages, several lenders such as Lloyds Banking Group have recently tightened their policies.

The announcement comes as the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have warned that Financial Services Authority (FSA) plans to tighten rules surrounding interest only mortgages would kill them off entirely.

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House prices have fallen for the third consecutive month; the latest house price index from Hometrack has shown.

According to the survey house prices fell by 0.4 per cent in September to just over £157,000.

They even dropped in London and the South East which were areas that had previously been immune to falls.

Hometrack blame a lack of mortgage availability and a large number of properties for sale for the fall.

Buyer confidence has continued to be subdued amid economic uncertainty and fears over government cuts causing a lack of interest in the property market.

According to Hometrack during the past three months demand from potential buyers has fallen by 6.5 per cent, while the number of homes on the market has increased by 7.2 per cent.

The British Bankers Association have published figures which show the mortgage approval figures are at the lowest they have been since April last year.

Economists are linking this to the plummet in housing prices.

These figures follow a Reuters poll of economic experts who predicted a further fall in house prices of about 5%.

The Daily Telegraph blames the fall on lack of available mortgage credit for buyers, and "concern" about the effects of public spending cuts on the wider economy.

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Just days after the Council of Mortgage Lenders warned that mortgage lending had fallen to its lowest level in ten years in August, that alarming view has been confirmed by the British Bankers Association.

The number of new mortgages approved fell in August for the third month in a row, the BBA has reported.

However, some lenders are innovating in order to breath life back into the mortgage market.

The Co-operative Bank and Britannia have launched a first time buyer mortgage this week.

It's a fixed rate mortgage with a 5.09 per cent interest rate for two years.

Nationwide, meanwhile, is attempting to encourage existing mortgage customers to remortgage, by offering a range of "fee friendly" fixed rate mortgage deals with arrangement fees of just £99.

Santander is doing something similar for remortgage customers, under its "Loyal Movers" programme.

If you're looking for a new fixed rate mortgage, or you're a first time buyer or you're remortgaging, talk to MoneyExtra.com to make sure you get the best deal.

Gross lending for mortgages fell to almost eleven and a half billion pounds last month, signifying a drop of 14 per cent from July's figure of £13.3 billion.

This means the home loan market is at its lowest point in terms of lending, since August of the year 2000, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Mortgages are unlikely to perform better any time soon, as volumes are still likely to be effected by the close of the stamp duty holiday towards the end of 2009.

Chief economist for the CML, Bob Pannell said: "We face the prospect of a difficult second half of the year."

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Lenders of buy-to-let mortgages are unlikely to significantly increase the appeal of their lending rates until well into the year 2012.

Landlord Mortgages has said the financial sector in the UK is still not performing well, and as such it will be as long as two years’ time before lenders offer more competitive deals.

Director of the company, Lee Grandin, said the finance industry is still "in the dumps", despite the number of available products for buy-to-let mortgages recently rising by almost 400 per cent, according to research by Mortgages for Business.

Mr Grandin said that while more are deals available, the market remains "very restricted".

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Northern Rock announced that they expect to pay back two-thirds of their government loan within five or six years by selling mortgage portfolios, instead of relying chiefly on "mortgage book redemptions."

Several investors, such as private equity firms, have expressed an interest in buying but no-one has yet made a high enough offer.

So far Northern Rock Asset Management have only repaid £300million of the loan - which means if they continue at the same rate it could take them up to 20 years to repay the loan in full.

The bank has also been encouraging their customers to transfer their mortgage loans elsewhere, but most banks have very strict lending criteria at the momen, which makes it difficult for them to find comparable deals on high loan-to-value mortgages.

Just last month, Northern Rock brought back the £99 mortgage fee, and they also recently raised their tracker rates, as a way of controlling volume.

More and more Brits dream of getting and mortgage and owning their own home according to a new survey.

The research undertaken by YouGov for the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) says the credit crunch and difficulty getting onto the property market has not affected people's aspirations to buy their first house.

85 percent of those questioned said in 10 years time, they would like to own a property.

Michale Coogan is the director general for CML.

He says "... the unintended consequence of regulatory change is that it is going to be permanently tougher for people – especially younger people – to fulfil that aspiration in the future, even if they are responsible with their finances".

Fewer people are losing their homes because they can't pay their mortgage Figures from the Financial Services Authority show a total of 9,978 properties were repossessed by lenders in the 3 months to the end of June.

That's the lowest figure for two years.

It looks like that downward trend is set to continue.

The number of people falling behind on mortgage payments has fallen for 6 consecutive quarters.

These figures correspond with stats from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

As a result of the drop the CML has slashed its prediction for home repossessions in 2010 down from 53,000 to 39,000.

The Council of Mortgage lenders has said the debate on interest-only mortgages requested by the Financial Services Authority will restrict the choice for home borrowers while not delivering other benefits.

The FSA says it wants to create "a flexible market that works better for consumers."

Despite this, the CML say the approach of the FSA to interest-only mortgages will have a contrasting effect.

This would mean greater expense for customers of these mortgages – which remain a common-sense option for many consumers and bring with them obvious benefits.

Communications manager for the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Bernard Clarke, said: "Some lenders have already reacted to the FSA's proposals by restricting availability of interest-only mortgages."

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Borrowers of mortgages should be as savvy as possible on how their rates could be effected ahead of the interest rate decision on Thursday of this week [September 9th].

Research by financial advice service unbiased.co.uk has suggested things to bear in mind amid the confusion in the current market for mortgages.

The firm says that the two schools of thought on the decision are that the rate could remain at 0.5 per cent, then rise slowly for five years time – or rocket to eight per cent by 2013.

There is then the question of which kind of mortgages are best – with fixed rate mortgages being the most sensible for the coming five years, but offering less good value over a two-year term.

To avoid further confusion on what to do about mortgages following the interest rate decision, then MoneyExtra.com can help break things down and explain it clearly.

Consumers looking for new options for mortgages may be keen to find out that Halifax is offering to cut its rates until the end of 2011.

The provider is giving borrowers the chance to reduce their rates by 0.3 per cent, should they decide to apply for one of the mortgages on offer from Halifax in September.

Meanwhile those holding a current account with Halifax an additional 0.2 per cent off their mortgages should they chose to get on board with the deal – meaning a total of a 0.5 per cent discount from their rates until 2012.

If you are confused about the different types of mortgages on offer today, visit MoneyExtra.com and let us take the pain out of shopping for mortgages.

Unexpectedly low mortgage lending figures for July are leading many commentators to warn of a double-dip recession in the housing market.

Net mortgage lending fell to a four-month low in July – a level that the Bank of England claims is around half that needed for a healthy mortgage market.

With unemployment almost certain to rise as public sector cuts take hold, the numbers of people looking to move house, take out a new mortgage or remortgage are likely to drop even further.

"Housing is going nowhere fast, and when disposable incomes are going to be under pressure, it is not going to help the consumer," BNP Paribas economist Alan Clarke told Reuters.

Even so, with interest rates still at record lows, paying off an existing mortgage has rarely been cheaper.

While new mortgages are struggling, overpayments on mortgages have risen in recent months.

If you're looking for a new mortgage or looking for a better deal on your current home loan, why not speak to MoneyExtra.com?

The month of August saw the second consecutive house price fall in a row - although a fall in arrears for mortgages means selling was not on a panicked basis.

According to the Nationwide House Price Index the typical price of a UK property dropped by 0.9 per cent on a month to month basis.

The figure comes following a 0.5 per cent decline for July – the first time house prices have fallen in consecutive months since February of 2009.

Chief economist for Nationwide, Martin Gahbauer, said however that fewer mortgages in arrears and possessions meant the trend in "the current period of price declines is likely to remain relatively modest."

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House prices could come under pressure in the UK as mortgages fell to their lowest rate of lending since April, according to the Bank of England.

The news comes despite the unexpected strong showing of consumer confidence, with net lending for mortgages dropping to 86 million pounds in July, from 518 million in June.

The showing has prompted fears of a double-dip style recession for the mortgages market, as declines in house prices and a rise in negative equity meaning difficult times for homeowners.

There will also be further disappointment that products aimed at making mortgages more accessible, appear to have failed to benefit home buyers.

If you want to know how to improve your credit rating to be in with the best chance of being approved for mortgages, Moneyextra.com can do the hard work for you.

Barclays is set to launch a range of special mortgage deals for their current account customers.

From the start of September, Barclays Loyalty Mortgages will be available to holders of various kinds of current account with the bank.

The discounts available under this scheme will be worth as much as 0.54 per cent on particular mortgage products.

Barclays' decision to offer special deals to its current account customers follows on from similar schemes put into effect by Halifax and Abbey earlier this year.

Andy Gray of Barclays said: "What this new scheme means is that our current account customers will now always have access to discounted rates in our range, as a reward from us to them for their loyalty."

If you're looking to take out a mortgage or to remortgage your property – whether you're a Barclays customer or not – here at MoneyExtra.com we can help you make the right decision.

Mortgage payments made by people in Scotland each month are at the lowest levels as a proportion of income seen anywhere in the UK since 1996.

Scottish mortgage holders moving house in the last three months are paying just an average of 9.3 per cent of their monthly income on home loan repayments, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

A percentage that small was last seen nearly 15 years ago, in 1996.

That's good news for first time buyers, as the CML has pointed to evidence suggesting that lenders are prepared to extend mortgages to people with smaller deposits than in recent months.

Nevertheless, with interest rates set to rise sharply in the next couple of years, this could just be the calm before the storm.

Historically low interest rates are leading many homeowners to overpay on their mortgages as much as they can afford – so as to cut the value of their home loans before times become harder.

If you're moving home in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK, why talk to MoneyExtra.com to make sure your money is working as hard for you as it could be.

The UK mortgage sector saw its subdued summer performance continue, as the amount of loans approved for mortgages fell.

High street banks gave approval to 877 fewer mortgages in July compared to the previous month, according to the British Bankers' Association.

July's figure of over thirty-three and a half thousand was the second consecutive month of decline.

Gross lending for mortgages has declined on average for the first half of 2010, and stood at £8.4 billion in July.

Statistics director for the BBA, David Dooks, said that demand for mortgages continues to be subdued.

He said: "The greater availability of properties for sale and slowing house price growth have not yet fed through to increased house purchase approvals."

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Mortgages in the UK are continuing to recover slowly, as home loans in July rose for the third month in a row.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, £13.6 billion was extended during July – a figure 5 per cent higher than in June.

Despite being the highest figure since July of last year – the total remained down four per cent on the amount from the same month of 2009.

This mood could well be set to continue, however, as the CML are doubtful mortgages will become buoyant again in 2010.

CML economist Paul Samter, said "The rest of 2010 is likely to see rather lower lending and transaction numbers compared to the same period last year."

If you're looking for mortgages that are affordable, then compare and save at MoneyExtra.com.

The mortgage market is still a tough place for first-time buyers, despite pleas for the industry to make things easier to get on that first rung.

It has been said that although the property market has picked up – the benefits of this have not been passed on to first-time buyers.

Senior Technical Manager at John Charcol, Ray Bouulger, said this was still due to "The big deposits that are needed which will tend to be more difficult for a first-time buyer to get than a mover."

The fact remains, however, that people moving homes rather than buying for the first time, will already have a deposit ready to commit to mortgages.

If you're looking for mortgages that are affordable, then compare and save at MoneyExtra.com.

House prices in the UK declined again last month, as the rate with which finance for mortgages was approved continued to fall short of housing supply.

Current restrictions in the mortgage market are curbing home buyers, meaning house prices fell for the second month running, according to Rightmove.co.uk.

The fall is also due to the amount of people looking to sell in the typically quiet month of August – currently at its highest rate for three years.

Rightmove's commercial director Miles Shipside, said that house prices do need to rise.

He said: "There needs to be a spur to cause prices to rise, but as mortgages won't become available to the masses - we can't see it happening during the remainder of 2010."

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Knowing the mortgage market before you look for deals, could be the key to get getting the most competitive mortgage around.

That's according to one expert from John Charcol who says with lending still not being what it was prior to the credit crunch, having a good knowledge of the mortgage market can be a powerful tool.

He explains how the number of people being rejected for mortgage applications is at record rates and that you need to go in knowing exactly what you can afford.

He says borrowers are being knocked back for very small indiscretions such as being late with a credit card payment or refusing without consideration nine in ten of 90 per cent LTV applications.

Here at MoneyExtra.com we do all the searching and comparing for you.

You tell us what you're looking for and well sort through hundreds of mortgages to make sure you get the best deal around.

If you're struggling with a mortgage through the economic recovery, you'll be pleased to know that the number of home repossessions fell in the second quarter of the year up to the end of June by 5 per cent.

The latest figures show that this is a drop of 30 per cent compared with the second quarter of 2009, giving people high hopes that we're finally getting through the tough times.

Nearly half of mortgage repossession claims leading to orders were suspended in the second quarter of 2010, staying the same as the equivalent quarter of 2009.

If you're looking for a mortgage that's affordable then compare and save at MoneyExtra.com.

We search through hundreds of mortgages, tracker, fixed and variable, to make sure you get the right one for you at the best prices around - without any hassle.

If you're looking for a mortgage then you might want to go down the fixed rate mortgage path, following in the footsteps of nearly half of all new borrowers in June.

New figures released by the Council of Mortgage lenders show that 46 per cent of new borrowers chose to go with a fixed rate mortgage in June, a significantly high percentage compared to recent years, mainly due to a historically low interest rate that for the meantime shows no signs of increasing.

If you've been saving to buy a house then you'll also be pleased to know that house purchase lending also increased in June with 52,000 loans granted worth more than £7.5 billion.

These figures make it 12 months in a row lending has gone up in comparison to previous year levels.

If you're confused over which mortgage will be best for, here at MoneyExtra we can help.

We compare hundreds of deals and rates to make sure you get the best deal at the right price.

Mortgage approvals remained pretty much flat in May compared to April, according to new figures from the Bank of England.

There were 13 fewer mortgages approved last month compared to the previous one, but the figure was still over 1,000 below the 51,000 forecast.

The current number of mortgage approvals is well below levels of late last year when the stamp duty holiday was about to end and a long way behind the housing boom of the last decade.

Philip Shaw, an economist from Investec remarked that that budget means we shouldn't expect an immediate bounce.

"However," he comments, "it is not impossible to begin to see some sort of revival before the end of the year."

However, there is some good news, as the net mortgage lending in May picked up substantially, rising to nearly £1.2bn (£1.184bn) from just under £980m (£979m) in April.

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Over the past two years, the average mortgage rate has fallen by over 2 percentage points to just 3.67 per cent, according to new figures from the Halifax.

The study also found that the average cost of housing as a whole fell by over £500 to just over £9,000 (£9,020) between April 2008 and April 2010.

Housing costs are now equal to 27 per cent of gross average earnings, compared to 30 per cent two years ago.

One of the driving factors in this drop is the decline in mortgage payments – both in terms in interest and capital repayments.

Since 2008, this has fallen by nearly 20 per cent (19 per cent) – a drop of almost £900 (£881).

Suren Thiru from the Halifax notes that "the drop in housing costs has helped to ease the strain on households' finances, providing some relief to homeowners during the economic downturn."

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The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has urged the government to consider the capital issues of building societies, alongside regulatory and funding issues, following a study.

The CML want to see building societies play an important role in the revival of a healthy and competitive mortgage market.

This comes after the Treasury released a paper on their futures.

The Building Society Capital and Related Issues document looked into ways that the authorities could lend their support to the mutual sector.

The ideas have been welcomed by the building societies and other lenders who value a diverse mortgage market.

Michael Coogan, director general of the CML remarks that they "agree with the Treasury's analysis that building societies as a sector face a number of significant challenges" and admits that "reform is needed to ensure the future resilience of the building society model".

For more help with your mortgage, contact MoneyExtra, the money experts.

Capping Capital Gains Tax (CGT) at 28 per cent in the budget has been seen as a crucial move by mortgage experts.

In a survey following George Osborne's announcement, it was discovered that almost half (46 per cent) of mortgage intermediaries felt that the decision would be key to maintaining a steady mortgage market.

There had been fears that CGT would rise to around 40 or even 50 per cent, which could have seen the market being flooded with second homes, to the detriment of the mortgage industry.

This news comes at a time when the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have announced that mortgage lending increased seven per cent in May, compared to the month before.

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The amount of mortgages approved in May was the highest this year, according to the British Bankers' Association (BBA).

The figure stands at well over 35,000 (36,709), but it is still some way down on the 45,000-plus (45,758) approved in December before the end of the stamp duty holiday.

Total mortgage lending reached £9bn in May, which is also the highest figure in 2010.

The BBA noted that many homeowners were still taking advantage of low interest rates to overpay on their mortgages.

The remarked that: "Repayments continued to be stronger than usual as banks and money advisers are encouraging borrowers to use surplus cash to reduce their borrowing where possible."

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The prices of mortgages from the Woolwich are being cut by as much as 0.7 per cent, in a move that will be welcomed by homeowners.

Barclays, who own the Woolwich, have announced that their two-year fixed-rate mortgages will see the rate fall from 5.29 per cent to 4.59 per cent.

The product is also available with a loan-to-value (LTV) of up to 80 per cent.

The firm have also said that their three-year fixed deal – which has an LTV of 80 per cent – will be reduced to 4.89 per cent.

Andy Gray, head of mortgages at Barclays states that the alterations will be "welcomed by those with smaller deposits, but who still need the certainty of a fixed rate."

He adds that the cut will help protect against any future base rate increases in the future.

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Gross lending on mortgages rose to an estimated £11.3bn in May, up 7 per cent from April and 10 per cent on May last year.

Whilst the figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have been welcomed, the market remains somewhat subdued and gross lending on mortgages is expected to fall below the CML's £150bn annual prediction.

Their chief economist Paul Samter comments that the figures may well be affected by this week's emergency budget.

He remarked that "we do not expect it to include housing- and mortgage-specific direct tax measures.

But the market will inevitably be affected by how policy impacts on the wider economy – particularly on household finances and confidence."

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Consumer confidence in the strength of the UK economy fell sharply last month with more than a fifth of consumers now believing that the situation will be worse in six months time than it is now.

That's according to data from Nationwide's Consumer Confidence Index which showed that consumer confidence dropped by 10 points in May compared to the month before.

Nationwide's Chief Economist Martin Gahbauer said that there was "growing pessimism around the present and future situation."

With a volatile economy it's vital to make sure that you get the best deals on all your financial products.

Here at MoneyExtra you can compare bank accounts, credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and more to make sure that you're getting making the most of your money.

New figures show that house prices have fallen for the third month in a row with the number of properties sold down 18% from April levels.

That's according to research from Acadametrics who found that the average price of a home in May this year was £220,353.

However the study also found that there were big differences between regions, which could be good news for those moving house in the right direction.

Key to making a successful move or a first time buy is getting the right mortgage and with an ever increasing range it can often be hard to find the one that best suits your needs.

In such a volatile market it can really pay to look at all the options, so for extra savings and extra value, compare and save at MoneyExtra.com.

Banking giant Santander has announced two new mortgages exclusively available for customers who keep their savings in current accounts at the bank.

The five year deal is at a fixed 4.39 per cent, with a £695 fee and 60 per cent LTV, up to a maximum of £250,000.

Alternatively, there's a two year fixed deal at 3.19 per cent, which is available with a £995 fee and 70 per cent LTV.

That's available on mortgages of up to £1m.

Mortgage Director Phil Cliff comments that Santander are keen to reward their current customers where possible.

He also notes that "the cost of fixed rate mortgages could rise in the not so distant future so we are keen to remind borrowers that now is a good time to lock into a fixed mortgage while interest rates continue to remain historically low."

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Mortgage lender Halifax has indicated that house prices fell by 0.4 per cent in May, following a 0.1 per cent drop in April.

However, this contrasts with fellow purveyor of mortgages Nationwide, who paint a much brighter picture.

According to their figures, prices went up by 1.1 per cent in April and then 0.5 per cent in May.

The difference in mortgage prices is based on the houses that each of the firms has sold – clearly Nationwide have been working with properties based in areas of growth.

The official mortgage figures come from the Land Registry, but they always come a month behind the Halifax and Nationwide.

Their figures for April point to a 0.2 per cent increase in house prices.

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Santander are celebrating the World Cup by offering a new hat-trick mortgage special.

The new mortgage deal is available to homebuyers and remortgagers and it's all about the threes – it's a three year, 3 per cent tracker at 75 per cent LTV – and the fee is £333.

The firm's Director of Mortgages Phil Cliff commented that "With many planning to cheer England on this summer, at Santander, we are keen to lend borrowers at home our support and ensure they don't get caught offside when it comes to getting the best deal!"

On top of the hat-trick deal, Santander are offering a number of competitive mortgages.

These include a two-year tracker for current account holders, at 2.39 per cent with a £495 fee up to 70 per cent LTV, and a two-year fixed mortgage at 2.90 per cent available up to 60 per cent LTV with a £1995 fee.

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The Bank of England's new figures have something of a good news/bad news feel to them for the mortgages market.

The number of mortgages approved for house purchases rose by 2 per cent to nearly 50,000 (49,871), which is the highest seen this year.

However, it is still around 10,000 short of the recent high in November (59,531), just before the end of the temporary stamp duty holiday.

The net lending for mortgages also fell 9 per cent to just over £1.5bn (£1.527bn).

The number of approvals for remortgaging remained low, with many homeowners sticking with their standard variable rates.

Brian Murphy from the Mortgage Advice Bureau remarks that all this means that "nobody can deny that the mortgage and property markets are still very delicately balanced."

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For the first time, more people are getting their first mortgages by themselves, rather than buying with a spouse, according to new figures.

The stats from Santander show that since 2006, more than 900,000 (914,000) people have taken their first step onto the property ladder by themselves.

This compares to just over 700,000 (716,000) who waited until they were married before getting their first mortgage.

The figures show that mortgage trends have changed dramatically over the decades.

Before the 1970s, over eight in ten (84 per cent) people bought their first home with their spouse, with the number dropping to below six in ten (57 per cent) in the Eighties.

In the Nineties, just under half (46 per cent) of people got their first mortgages after they got married and now the figure is just 29 per cent.

For more information about your mortgage, contact MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

Santander have today launched a competitive 70 per cent loan-to-value tracker mortgage, with rate starting at 2.39 per cent.

The mortgage carries with it a £495 fee and is exclusively available to existing current account customers.

Mortgage Director Phil Cliff comments that "Santander continues to offer a range of competitive mortgage deals for new customers as well as existing customers."

These include a range of 75 per cent LTV, two-year fixed and tracker mortgage products aimed at borrowers looking for larger loans sizes providing even more value-for-money deals.

On top of this, Santander also offer a two year fixed-rate, 60 per cent LTV deal, at 2.90 per cent and a fee of just under £2,000 (£1,995).

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Two thirds (63 per cent) of us either still lives in the cities where we were born or within just 50 miles of them, according to new research.

Out of this number, nearly one in five (17 per cent) have never moved away.

These are the findings of a study by Santander Mortgages, which also shows that hometown loyalty depends on where you're from – people from Yorkshire are twice as likely to stay as people from the South East.

Andy Smith from Santander remarks that first time buyers are especially likely to stay close to home, as they enjoy the security of having friends and family nearby.

They also have some local housing knowledge to help them decide where they want to get a mortgage.

For Extra savings and Extra value when searching for mortgages, you can compare and save at MoneyExtra.com.

Nationwide have reduced the interest rates for mortgages for new buyers and people seeking remortgaging deals.

For new buyers looking for a five-year fixed deal, rates have been reduced to 4.68 per cent, up to and including 70 per cent LTV.

For 75 per cent LTV and over mortgage deals, rates start at 5.24 per cent.

If you’re looking to remortgage, the rate for up to 70 per cent LTV is 4.88 per cent, whereas 75 per cent LTV deals begin at 5.44 per cent.

Andy McQueen of Nationwide comments: "The cuts of up to 0.31 per cent could benefit those buying a house, remortgaging, looking for additional borrowing or looking to switch deals."

He went on to mention that first time buyers will continue to receive a further £500 product fee discount on selected fixed and tracker rate deals.

Lending on mortgages declined last month, according to new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The gross April figure stood at £10.2bn, down from £11.6bn in March and £100m down on April last year.

However, the slowdown in mortgage lending had been expected due to Easter falling in April and the CML indicate that the industry is still on target to lend £150bn for mortgages for 2010 as a whole.

Whilst the CML welcomed the suspension of Home Information Packs (HIPs) and the expected continuation of the 0.5 per cent interest rate, they did sound a note of caution.

Their director general Michael Coogan noted that the government needed to get to grips with the funding gap for mortgages if recovery was to continue.

For more information on mortgages, visit MoneyExtra.com today.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched a campaign to warn people of the dangers of loan sharks that charge exorbitant interest and use violence and threats to enforce debts.

They urge people in debt to seek other options, rather than going to a loan shark who could leave you in more debt than you started with.

The Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) is putting its members forward as alternatives to loan sharks.

Credit unions can offer loans, offer people loans and are open for anyone to join.

People in more serious debt may want to consider some form of debt management plan or Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), which can help you pay off what you owe, whilst stopping your creditors from contacting you.

People who are looking for buy-to-let mortgages have a far wider range of products available to them, according to the Telegraph.

There are now over 300 (304) mortgage deals on offer for landlords, compared to less than 200 (179) in September.

However, this is still some way down of the number of mortgages available in August 2007, when the figure stood at well over 3,000 (3,662).

Even landlords with only a 25 per cent deposit to put down have seen nearly a third (29 per cent) more mortgages become available to them.

Also, the average interest rate on a two-year fixed deal has dropped to 5.66 per cent.

However, there could be storm clouds on the horizon for people with buy-to-let mortgages, as the capital gains tax is expected to rise later this year from 18 per cent, possibly up to 40 per cent.

If you want advice on mortgages, visit MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

Variable rate mortgage customers took advantage of historically low interest rates last year to clear as much of their debts as they could.

New figures from Lloyds Banking Group show that 14 per cent of its customers overpaid on their mortgages during 2009.

That's double the 7 per cent who paid off more of their mortgage than the minimum in 2008.

Overpaying on your mortgage while interest rates are low can have a dramatic effect on the term of the mortgage, and the overall sum paid back over its lifetime.

Lloyds suggested that overpaying by just £50 a month on a £100,000 mortgage at 3.5 per cent interest would cut the mortgage's term by three and a half years.

If you're thinking about overpaying on your mortgage, or you want to find a new cheap mortgage deal, then why not get in touch with the team here at MoneyExtra.com?

March saw the number of loans taken out for house purchase rise by 25 per cent, compared to the previous month.

The new stats from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that March saw 45,000 mortgages taken out, valued at £6.3bn.

This figure is also a 45 per cent increase on March 2009, providing the ninth consecutive month of year-on-year growth.

First time buyers are also making their impact felt in the housing market, with 17,300 mortgages being taken out.

This number represents a 27 per cent rise on the previous month and a 42 per cent rise on the previous March.

Michael Coogan of the CML says he appreciates the current growth in mortgages, but the new government need to sort out lending issues caused by the recession, otherwise he fears there could be mortgage rationing "for years to come".

For more mortgage information, check out MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

The public perception of the mortgage market still lags behind what is actually happening, according to a new survey.

One of the most stark examples from unbiased.co.uk's study was that nearly a half (46 per cent) of the people surveyed thought they could only get a mortgage worth up to three times their current salary.

In reality, the average income multiple is 3.3 times an individual's salary, with some providers even offering up to four times a person's wage.

Two people in five also believe that to get mortgages, they would need at least a 20 per cent deposit.

However, there are now a number of deals available where people looking for a home only need a deposit of 10 per cent.

For a wide choice of mortgages, visit MoneyExtra.com today, the money experts.

Four in ten people seeking financial advice are doing so because of worries about investments, savings and mortgages, new figures show.

The figures come from unbiased.co.uk, whose top ten advice drivers show that a quarter (26 per cent) of people want help with investments and savings, whilst one in seven are concerned about mortgage debt.

The amount of people worrying about mortgages has almost doubled from last month's 10 per cent, whilst concern over savings fell slightly from March’s 29 per cent.

Personal retirement planning remained the top of the advice drivers' chart, with over a third (35 per cent) of the site's visitors enquiring about it.

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The numbers of house repossessions and mortgages going into arrears both fell during the first quarter of 2010, new figures have shown.

Repossessions have fallen steadily from over 13,000 (13,200) in the first three months of last year, to 10,600 at the end of 2009 and the figure currently stands at below 10,000 (9,800).

There are currently over 20,000 (20,500) less mortgages in arrears compared to this period last year.

The new stats from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) are encouraging, but they warn against people becoming complacent.

CML director general Michael Coogan commented: "With all eyes on the new government and what steps it will take to address the fiscal deficit, we cannot emphasise too strongly the importance of continuing to fund the support mechanisms that are proving effective in containing mortgage arrears and repossessions."

For more on mortgages, visit MoneyExtra.com today, the money experts.

More people were left looking for mortgages in April as the number of house buyers went up.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) announced that on average, each branch had 277 house hunters on their books in April, up slightly from March.

Each estate agent also saw house sales increase on average from 60 to 62.

Whilst NAEA president Gary Smith welcomes the figures, he is concerned that less people are getting mortgages for their first home.

"The level of first time buyers has dropped slightly, and the NAEA will push hard for more measures to help this group from the new government," he commented.

He also remarked that if the trends continue, the summer housing market has "sunny prospects".

If you want mortgage advice, visit MoneyExtra.com today.

More Britons will be looking for mortgages as house sales increased in April, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

RICS members reported an average of more than 17 (17.4) sales each and that the amount of houses on their books decreased by 6 per cent, which could see prices rise.

12 per cent more surveyors saw the amount newly agreed sales rise than fall in April.

In March, 8 per cent more saw the number of sales fall than rise.

RICS's Jeremy Leaf has commented that there is "renewed optimism" in the housing market and that he expects house prices and the amount of people needing new mortgages to rise as the year goes on.

If you want more information on mortgages, head over to MoneyExtra.com today, the money experts.

The Post Office will make it easier for us to secure mortgages tomorrow, when they launch their new 90 per cent loan-to-value deals.

The new mortgages mean that potential homeowners only need to put down a 10 per cent deposit on a house, with a 5.45 per cent rate on a two year fixed and 5.99 per cent rate fixed for five years.

The Post Office has expanded its range of 85 per cent LTV mortgages and cut the rates of all of its fixed rate 75 and 80 per cent deals.

Marco Hughes, the Post Office's Director of Personal Lending comments that "whilst there are existing 90 per cent deals available, many remain out of reach most borrowers because the rates are too high."

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More than two thirds (68 per cent) of homeowners surveyed by Lloyds TSB highlighted flexibility as a key important figure.

Whilst the current low interest rate of 0.5 per cent was a big factor in the popularity of flexible mortgages, the research found more reasons too.

Nearly seven in ten (68 per cent) appreciated the ability to alter the term of their mortgage, whilst more than half (53 per cent) were attracted to the deals by the ability to take payment holidays.

Stephen Noakes, head of mortgages at Lloyds TSB, stated that their customers enjoyed the variable deals as they gave them the opportunity to "flex payments dependent on economic conditions".

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Nearly 35,000 (34,905) mortgages were approved in March, up 5 per cent on February, new figures have shown.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) have commented that their figures have been affected by the low interest rate and the traditional spring bounce in the housing market.

However, the number of mortgages approved was down on the latter months of 2009, when the temporary stamp duty holiday was still in place.

Simon Rubinsohn of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says this was expected, but he still believes that the number of transactions will gradually pick up as the year progresses.

He puts this down to more properties coming onto the market and the reintroduction of the stamp duty holiday for first time buyers.

For more mortgage advice, go to MoneyExtra.com today.

People looking for a new mortgage may want to look at the new offering from HSBC, which lets you divide your borrowing between tracker and fixed.

Customers can choose between 75 per cent tracker and 25 per cent fixed, 25 per cent fixed and 75 per cent tracker or half and half.

The higher the fixed portion, the higher the rate will become, but this is typical of the mortgage market at present.

The 25 per cent fixed mortgage has rates as low as 2.49 per cent, whereas the 75 per cent fixed can be bought from 2.99 per cent.

The split loan mortgage is available up to £500,000 and comes with a £999 booking fee.

For more mortgage help, contact MoneyExtra, the money experts.

Sainsbury's shoppers can now benefit from a reduced interest rate on loans between £7,500 and £15,000 from the supermarket's bank.

Shoppers with a Nectar card will now receive a rate of 7.8 per cent on that size of loan, compared to an average of 9.5 per cent.

And for two years, customers will receive double Nectar points on their in-store shopping, online and in petrol stations.

Steven Baillie, Sainsbury's Finance's Head of Loans, commented that:

"We've been offering some of the most attractive loan rates in the market for a long time now and this offer should strengthen further our appeal to Sainsbury's shoppers."

Sainsbury's customers taking out loans of £7,500 and paying it back over 60 months will save over £1,000 (£1,031.40) compared to a similar loan from NatWest.

If you want help to decide which is the best loan for you, contact MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

There was a 24 per cent increase in gross mortgage lending between February and March, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has announced.

However, whilst last month saw £11.5bn added to the quarterly total to bring it close to £30bn (£29.5bn), it was still nearly a quarter (24 per cent) down on figures for the last three months of 2009.

This represents the lowest quarterly lending total for mortgages since the first three months of 2000. However, the CML maintain that a gross lending total of £150bn for the year is still achievable.

The figures for April onwards are expected to see a rise in the number of people taking out mortgages, with the re-introduction of the stamp duty holiday for first time buyers.

If you want to find out more about mortgages then head over to MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

House prices in February dropped 0.1 per cent compared to January's figures, new results show.

The stats from Communities and Local Government also stated that average house prices now stood at a little over £200,000 (£204,359).

The drop has been attributed in part to the announcement of the election.

This has caused an increase in the number of people putting their houses on the market, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

They state that the average number of properties on estate agents' books has risen by 6 per cent.

Whilst the number of mortgages granted rose in February according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), as a proportion of the stock available, the figure actually decreased.

If you want to find out more about mortgages then head over to MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

Lenders must decide if a customer can afford to repay a loan before granting it under new guidelines issued by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

This is one of the changes that the OFT has been considering since mid-2008.

Other measures introduced include not misleading customers with adverts and explaining key features so borrowers can make an informed choice.

These are expected to go hand-in-hand with the new European Consumer Credit Directive (ECCD).

When it comes into force in February, this will give consumers many more rights, including a 14 day window to cancel credit agreements without incurring a penalty.

It also will allow customers to make partial early repayments on their debts.

This is designed to complement the current rules which allow full repayment.

Northern Rock has made it easier for first-time buyers to get a mortgage by reducing their interest rates.

The nationalised bank has cut its rate on a two year fixed mortgage with a 15 per cent deposit and product fee to 5.49 per cent – down from 6.69 per cent.

Without a product fee, the rate is also down – from 7.19 to 5.99 per cent.

For a five year fixed rate mortgage deal with product fee, you can get deals for up to 85 per cent loan-to-value ratio from 6.49 per cent, down half a percentage point.

The rate is 6.99 per cent without a fee.

This news comes in the wake of the stamp duty threshold being raised in last week’s Budget.

Lloyd Cochrane of Northern Rock hopes that it will "[encourage] those looking to get on the property ladder".

If you're looking for a great deal on a mortgage or you want to re-mortgage, here at Moneyextra we do all the hard work for you, comparing and saving to get you the best deal.

HSBC is to launch two new mortgages to further aid buyers who wish to take advantage of the new stamp duty limit.

From next Monday, buyers will be able to get a rate of 4.49 per cent on HSBC's fee free lifetime tracker mortgage.

This deal has a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 90 per cent and has no application fee.

On top of this, the bank is also going to offer a mortgage costing £999 with a two year fixed rate at 2.99 per cent.

The maximum loan size on this is £250,000 and LTVs of up to 70 per cent.

This week's Budget raised the threshold at which property purchases become liable for stamp duty was doubled, to £250,000.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that 136,000 people will take advantage of the new stamp duty threshold over the next year, costing the Treasury £224 million.

Official figures have this week revealed that the UK rate of inflation fell to 3 per cent in February.

This is down from 3.5 per cent the previous month – and it could signal interest rate rises for mortgage holders on the horizon.

RPI inflation, however, which includes house prices, stayed at 3.7 per cent.

Although inflation remains well above the Bank's 2 per cent target, the drop suggests that the UK's period of record-low interest rates could be nearing a close.

Many consumers will have benefitted from the drop as household gas bills fell and food prices also decreased.

However, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned that it is too early to raise interest rates to counteract the inflation drop.

Many people with mortgages will be hoping that the advice is heeded and that interest rates remain at 0.5 per cent.

If you have a mortgage or you're a first-time buyer looking for a good mortgage deal, then get in touch with MoneyExtra.com to see how we can help you.

The amount of mortgage debt in arrears has fallen, according to the latest figures.

The Financial Services Authority said that the number of borrowers who fell behind with their mortgage repayments dropped by 4 per cent to 378,000 at the end of last year.

And both the number of new arrears cases and new repossession cases also fell over the same period.

The FSA believes that recent low interest rates have helped homeowners meet their monthly bills.

But research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders has found that the trend may be reversed in 2010.

Their figures show that the amount of mortgage debt taken on in February was 6 per cent higher than in the previous month.

If you want to find out more about mortgages then head over to MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

Bradford & Bingley has unveiled a £196 million annual loss as provisions for mortgage fraud and bad debts nearly doubled.

But the loss at the nationalised bank is not as high as many had predicted, with a forecast of even greater losses previously agreed with the Treasury.

The amount is considerably lower than the £278 million figure loss in 2008.

Part of the loss was in part due to an increase in residential loan provisions.

This was based on the discovery of ‘potentially suspicious loan portfolios' on the bank’s books.

And nearly 30,000 customers were more than a month in arrears on their mortgage at the end of 2009, only slightly down on the previous year's total.

The bank has also shed many of its mortgage customers, which once stood at two million; it now has only 245,000.

If you want to find out more about the best mortgage for you then head over to MoneyExtra.com, the online money experts.

The proportion of borrowers who have fallen behind with their mortgage repayments has fallen by 4 per cent.

That's according to research which shows that in the last quarter of 2009 low interest rates helped normally struggling customers pay their bills.

The Financial Services Authority said that the 378,000 mortgage accounts currently in arrears represented a fall in each quarter of last year.

And the number of new repossession cases was also down, falling by 15 per cent to just under 12,000 – the lowest figure since the summer of 2008.

Borrowers have benefited from a series of interest rate cuts which saw the Bank base rate drop to 0.5 per cent last March.

And a series of initiatives by lenders and the government have enabled some of those falling behind with their loans to stay in their homes.

If you want to find out more head over to MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

Rising unemployment and a fresh wave of mortgage shortages are fuelling fears that the housing market is 'running out of steam'.

Researchers have found that house prices fell 1.5 per cent in February after seven months of uninterrupted growth.

Mortgage lender Halifax said that buyers were deterred from visiting estate agents by the severe cold weather and changes to stamp duty.

And this week's monthly survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors also warned that its members were seeing a gradual rise in the number of new instructions from sellers.

RICS expects that house price gains made between January and June will be wiped out by falls later this year.

If you're concerned with house prices or any other aspect of the property market then head over to MoneyExtra.com today.

If you've been looking around for a great deal on a fixed rate mortgage, you might be interested to know that Santander has cut its rates by up to 0.4 per cent across its four year fixed rate mortgages.

They say it's in a bid to give homeowners, or potential homeowners more options in a difficult market.

Now you can get a four year fixed rate at 4.49 per cent, it does have a fee of £995, but is available up to 70 per cent loan-to-value.

If you don't want to have to pay a fee, it can be avoided and the rate goes up to 4.99 per cent and if you want to remortgage it's 5.29 per cent.

If you need a little help in deciding which mortgage deal is best for you, here at Moneyextra we do all the hard work for you to make sure your money works hard for you.

One major bank is encouraging its borrowers to pay off their mortgages early.

Customers on Lloyds-TSB's variable rate deals will be able overpay their mortgages by up to 20 per cent of their loans for the next year.

The news comes at the same time as an announcement by the Bank of England that UK households have saved £20 billion in interest repayments during the current period of historically low rates.

And the latest figures suggest that about one in four borrowers have used the money to accelerate their repayments.

The main advantage of overpaying is that it enables a borrower to pay off a loan more quickly, thus saving interest.

Most mortgage operators offer customers a 10 per cent overpayment limit.

Lloyds' mortgage lending subsidiary Halifax had reported an increase in the number of people enquiring about mortgage repayments.

If you're interested in finding out more about mortgages then visit MoneyExtra.com, the online money experts.

If you've been finding it difficult to get the right mortgage, or get one at all, you'll be pleased to know more deals and better rates are slowing starting to emerge.

"Funding is not quite at the right level yet, but they are looking to lend a little bit more".

That's according to Andy Pratt, chief operating officer at Alexander Hall, who claims that confidence is gradually returning to the lending community, which can only mean good news for consumers.

It's claimed additional market competition has led to cheaper mortgage rates.

If you're a first time buyer you'll be pleased to know that Mr. Pratt says you're in a better position that you have been for a long time.

Here at Moneyextra we can compare the increase amount of deals for you to make sure your money works hard for you.

HSBC has upped the stakes in the slowly recovering mortgage by offering a product with a rate of just 1.99 per cent.

The loan is set at a discount of 1.95 per cent from its standard variable rate of 3.94 per cent for two years, has a £999 arrangement fee and is available up to 60 per cent of a property's value.

Industry experts have said the mortgage represents good value and beats those with lower interest rates over the two-year period because of the smaller arrangement fee.

An HSBC spokesman has also dismissed suggestions that mortgages linked to the standard variable rate may mean 'cloudy' charges for customers.

Nevertheless, some lenders have raised their SVRs in recent months, even while the Bank of England's interest rates have remained at 0.5 per cent.

If you're thinking of taking out a mortgage then head over to MoneyExtra.com, the online money experts.

The downturn in mortgage approvals and lending looks to be on the turn.

That's the opinion of experts within the industry who say they have seen significantly more business in new year.

It's claimed that this is due in part to more buy to let mortgages and remortgages being issued, and increased competition between lenders, according to the John Charcol Index.

The amount of choice available to consumers has increased and in many cases there are lower rates for both new fixed and tracker mortgages.

It also means that borrowers with as little as 15 per cent equity in their properties have a significantly improved range of products to chose from.

If you're looking for information about mortgages or any other aspect of the financial industry then visit MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

Cuts to interest on mortgages are being funded by falling savings rates.

That's the claim coming from an investigation which found that since November rates on bonds have fallen by up to 0.65 per cent.

Analysts have said the findings show that providers cannot seem to offer competitive mortgage and saving deals at the same time.

The report says that providers have shifted their focus from savings to mortgages, which is more profitable.

The swing is in contrast to last year, where the requirement on providers to hold more capital reserves pushed savings rates upwards.

Now that the demand for deposits has eased rates are falling as a consequence.

If you're considering your mortgage or saving options then visit MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

The number of mortgages available for homebuyers has shown a recent increase.

That's according to research from Moneyfacts.co.uk which shows that at the beginning of the month there were almost 1,800 deals available requiring deposits of 40 per cent or less.

That's a 6 per cent increase on the availability last month and 68 per cent more than a year ago.

Even at the bottom end of the scale there has been a healthy increase in mortgage availability, with a 90 per cent increase of mortgages requiring small down payments.

Some of the lenders to cut interest rates across their mortgage ranges have included Lloyds, RBS, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Northern Rock and Alliance & Leicester.

It is hoped that the rise in mortgage availability may signal a recovery in the housing and lending markets.

If you’re considering a mortgage or just need advice then visit MoneyExtra.com, the money experts.

The Bank of England's decision to keep the base rate fixed at 0.5 per cent and inflation running at 3.5 per cent is hitting savers hard.

That's according to industry experts who claim that it is becoming increasingly difficult for investors to find high returns on their savings accounts. The average rate on an instant access savings account is now only 0.86 per cent.

But shoppers can still save money by switching to an offset mortgage scheme. It works by using your savings to reduce the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage.

The scheme is not for everyone, however - buyers need to check the rate offered against normal mortgages. Offset mortgages are generally felt to be best suited to those with large sums in their savings accounts already.

If you're considering taking out a mortgage or just want to find out more then visit Moneyextra.com, the money experts.

If you've been struggling to find a mortgage that suits your needs at a great rate, you might be interested in a new 2 year fixed rate mortgage launched by the Co-op.

This mortgage has been added to the range that they offer and is also available through Britannia, with an interest rate of 3.19 per cent accessible on up to 75 per cent loan to value deals.

However this does increase to 4.49 per cent for 85 per cent loan to value.

Now both of these deals do have an arrangement fee of £999, making it a very competitive offer for potential home owners.

John Hughes from Co-operative Financial Services explained how these two deals have been added to give customers even more choice on their mortgages.

UK house prices fell by 1.5 per cent in February, according to figures released by the Halifax.

It matches a similar drop of 1 per cent reported by Nationwide.

Halifax believes the drop, the first since June 2009, confirms recent rises were fuelled by the small number of properties for sale and a corresponding drop in mortgage lending.

The bank said that a mixture of bad weather, more properties for sale and the restoration of full stamp duty all had an adverse impact on demand for mortgages.

The average price for a house is now around £165,000, and experts have predicted that 2010 may well see static prices over the year.

But not all is doom and gloom; compared to the same time last year prices are up 4.5 per cent.

If you've been effected by the slump in the housing market then go to Moneyextra.com for tips and advice.

If you're a first time buyer and you haven't quite saved the 20 per cent deposit that everyone says you'll need, don't worry.

Santander has launched a 90 per cent loan to value mortgage for first time buyers of new builds.

This 10 per cent difference may sound small but it will be a huge help to people who've already managed to save 10 per cent of their deposit.

If you don't want a house, but you would like a flat then you'll be pleased to know that Santander has also increased the maximum loan to value rate for first time buyers of new build flats from 70 per cent to 80 per cent.

The move has also been welcomed by house builders who've struggled to sell one and two bedroom properties, ideal for first time buyers.

Property sales in the UK have doubled in the space of a month, suggesting a possible revival in the mortgage market.

The Property Activity Index Sales showed that the number of completed property transactions in February was twice that of the previous month, and the highest since March 2008.

Every region except central England saw strong growth, particularly the North West with an over 150 per cent increase.

The city with the biggest jump was Nottingham where house sales trebled to over 200 per cent.

It's thought that the dramatic increases are due to a slow January period for mortgage lending.

Freezing conditions along with a rush to buy before the end of the stamp duty holiday in December all helped to subdue sales in the first month of the year.

But February's increases are an indication that the housing market is on its way to recovery, with levels already comparable to 2007.

If you're considering buying or selling a house then get in touch with Moneyextra.com, the money experts.

Demand for homes is greatly outstripping supply and that will see far more of us renting privately in the future due to inflated prices.

That's the indication coming from research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders which shows that in the last decade around 130,000 to 170,000 homes were built each year.

Groups such as Shelter believe that figure should be closer to 250,000.

Much of the blame is being placed on private sector funding constraints including mortgages and public sector spending cutbacks.

Meanwhile Lib Dem shadow chancellor Vince Cable has predicted that a continuing rise in unemployment and interest rates will push many borrowers "over the edge".

That comes as data reveals that there were 46,000 mortgage repossessions in 2009, with the CML predicting another 53,000 for this year.

If you've been affected by mortgage problems or finding a home then get in contact with MoneyExtra.com, the online money experts.

A report from the Credit Industry Fraud Prevention Service has discovered that mortgage fraud is on the rise.

CIFAS's Fraudscape report also show that overall levels of fraud have increased by around 10 per cent.

The rise is being blamed on the recovery in the housing market and possible help from ‘corrupt solicitors'.

It's thought that fraudsters are increasingly taking over more complex mortgage accounts as an alternative to conventional bank accounts.

The use of intermediaries working within the industry may be helping.

The scam is harder to pull off when mortgages are harder to obtain, but the recent loosening in the mortgage market has seen a small but significant upsurge in fraud.

This trend is bad news for mortgage borrowers, as lenders are likely to make it even harder to borrow, or try and recoup the cost of fraud from their honest customers.

If you've been affected by mortgage or identity-based fraud or just need some advice then get in contact with MoneyExtra.com.

We’re able to offer a range of help and advice.

Banks must do more to make cheap mortgages with lower loan to value ratios more widely available.

That's according to Catherine Hearnden, director of MyMortgageDirect, who says that mortgage customers are beginning to realise that if they want to take out a mortgage with a small deposit, they will have to pay for it.

Although a growing number of 90 per cent mortgages are becoming available, this still leaves many first time buyers having to produce big deposits.

The average house price stands at around £160,000 – so 10 per cent of that is £16,000, a sum still beyond the reach of many first timers.

Ms Hearnden argued that lenders must continue to provide more support to borrowers in order to get the mortgage market moving again.

If you're looking for a cheap mortgage, talk to MoneyExtra.com, no matter how big or small your deposit is.

House prices in February have fallen for the first time in nine months.

There was a seasonally adjusted 1 per cent month-on-month decrease, ending a period of sustained growth that has stretched back to April 2009, according to the latest figures from leading mortgage lender Nationwide.

This may sound like good news for first time buyers, but the lack of availability of cheap mortgages for people who are not coming to the market with large deposits is still keeping affordability low.

Some of the fall is being blamed on the recent bad weather which may have kept prospective buyers at home, and the end of the stamp duty holiday.

It's unclear whether the figures are a one-off blip or in fact herald the start of a new trend.

According to Land Registry House Price figures the average price of a house in England and Wales was now £165,088 in January.

If you're looking for a good deal on a first time buyer mortgage, why not contact the team here at MoneyExtra.com?

The Financial Ombudsman Service has named those British banks who received the highest number of complaints over the second half of the last financial year.

Barclays, Santander, Northern Rock, Nationwide Building Society, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Alliance & Leicester and NatWest all made the list.

But it was the Bank of Scotland which received the most complaints relating to mortgages. 561 customers made a complaint between July and December 2009, 34 per cent of which were upheld in favour of the consumer.

In other sectors GE Money Home Lending had 56 complaints in the same period, but 67 per cent of these were upheld - the highest percentage of any lender.

The FOS data also shows that in the second half of 2009 the ombudsman service upheld an average of 53 per cent of complaints in favour of consumers, slightly down on the 59 per cent in the first half of the year.

If you're unhappy with your bank, maybe there are other options for meeting your finance needs? Talk to MoneyExtra.com and let us help you find your way.

Despite the housing market showing some signs of recovery, experts are now warning that it's once again slowing down and could face a double dip scenario.

Potential home owners' struggling to secure cheap mortgages because of tight lending restrictions is thought to be contributing to a future drop in the house prices.

This is the case even though the government has urged banks to ease up on lending.

Kate Barker, who's a housing market specialist and sits on the Bank of England' monetary policy committee, claims that the levels of mortgages that are available are unlikely to return to what they were pre recession.

House prices have bounced back some what since they hit rock bottom, which was around 20 per cent lower than their peak in 2007, however experts claim this growth is unlikely to continue.

If you need some impartial advice on your first mortgage or even re-mortgaging, please don't hesitate to contact our helpful and friendly team here at Moneyextra.com.

House sales in Scotland picked up in the last three months of 2009, with the total value of first time buyer mortgages issued rising as against the previous quarter.

Although the Council of Mortgage Lenders found that the performance of the housing market in Scotland in quarter four was slightly behind that of the UK as a whole, the number of new mortgages and remortgages issued rose by one percentage point.

Scotland's property market held out better than the rest of Britain's during the slump of the last two years, and so the slower rate of growth is understandable.

But the CML does not see home loans becoming easier to get hold of any time soon – although lending conditions are expected to relax a little in the coming months.

If you're a first time buyer and want to be sure you get a good deal, or if you're looking to save money by remortgaging, get in touch with the team at MoneyExtra.com, and we'll help your money go further.

Buy-to-let mortgages are once again looking strong.

Remortgaging activity among property owners with buy-to-let mortgages continued to drop in the last quarter of 2009.

That's according to new research from Paragon Mortgages.

The company found that only 30 per cent of landlords sought new mortgages for buy-to-let properties through brokers in quarter four, compared to 39 per cent in the previous quarter.

Low interest rates and a lack of products on the market are thought to be keeping landlords with their existing lenders.

At the same time, however, the Council of Mortgage Lenders found that first time buy-to-let mortgage lending was up in quarter four – although it remains well below the levels seen in 2008.

If you're a landlord looking to cut your costs or a newcomer to the buy-to-let game looking to get in on the action, why not speak to the team at MoneyExtra.com? We can help make sure you get the best deal.

Following on from last week's CML figures for January mortgage lending, new data from the British Bankers’ Association confirms that last month plumbed new depths.

New mortgage lending was just £8.02 billion, the BBA found: the lowest level since March 2001.

Like the Council of Mortgage Lenders last week, the BBA put January's drop down to many people looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday by taking out a mortgage early and the bad weather.

Nevertheless, many industry-watchers are anticipating an improvement in the next few weeks, as the cold snap comes to an end.

There are good deals around, particularly for those with large deposits.

Whether you're looking for a first time buyer mortgage or you're looking to get the best remortgaging deal, the team here at MoneyExtra.com are ready to help you.

With affordable mortgages for first time buyers in short supply, people hoping to take their first steps on the properly ladder will welcome the launch of a new range of home loans from the Post Office.

Aimed squarely at first time buyers, the mortgages will be available at a 75 per cent loan to value ratio in both variable and fixed rate forms.

One the one hand, buyers who don't mind seeing where the market takes them can opt for a two year tracker at 3.19 per cent – while for the more cautious, there are two, three and five year fixed rate deals starting from 3.89 per cent.

At the same time, the Post Office is cutting the interest rates on some of its other variable and fixed rate mortgages with immediate effect, following on from a similar move by Santander earlier this week.

If you're a first time buyer and don't know where to turn to get the best mortgage deals, then the team here at MoneyExtra.com will search and compare mortgages to get the best deal for you.

Mortgages for first time buyers in Scotland have become much harder to get hold of over the last two years.

North of the border, houses have held their value much better than in England – making it even harder for first time buyers to get that all-important first foot on the properly ladder.

New figures from Hometrack show that the average deposit a Scottish first time buyer needed to put down to get a mortgage was £24,573 in 2009.
That’s compared to just £9,738 in 2007 – a 154 per cent increase.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders, meanwhile, found that the average deposit put down by a first time buyer was 25 per cent of the property value last year.

The days of cheap and easy 100 per cent mortgages appear to be long gone, and first time buyers seem to be suffering once again by the lower loan to value ratios lenders are insisting upon.

If you are a first time buyer or looking to remortgage, though, don’t despair - here at Moneyextra.com we make it easy to compare the market and make your money stretch as far as it can.

If you've been struggling to get a mortgage through these tough economic times, you might have noticed that finally there're now more competitive mortgages to choose between.

New figures claim that there are more than 2000 deals for people to choose from making it more important than ever to compare before you buy.

The Mirror reports that one of the biggest mistakes that can be made is for people to be seduced by rates that seem to be the best only to find out that there's a sting in the tail- in other words always read the small print.

Borrowers will need to think very carefully about what they want i.e. a fixed rate or variable mortgage.

If you're struggling to work out what will be right for you or you just want to compare what's out there, here at Moneyexta.com we do all the hard work for you to ensure you get the best deal at the cheapest possible price.

Has the end of the stamp duty holiday put you off trying to get a mortgage?

Well you'll be one of many people as mortgage lending in the UK dropped sharply in January, analysts say it's the after math of the rush before Christmas to get on the property ladder before the end of the stamp duty break.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says gross mortgage lending declined to an estimated £9.1 billion in January, a 32 per cent fall from £13.4 billion in December.

Seasonal factors mean that mortgage lending usually falls in January anyway compared with December, but lenders say that the drop was particularly sharp this year.

Don't let stamp duty put you off; here at Moneyextra.com we do all the hard work for you to ensure you get the best deal at the cheapest possible price.

Are you over paying on your mortgage while rates are low?, well your not alone.

New figures from research by the Co-operative Bank, show that the number of mortgage customers making overpayments has increased by 50 per cent over the last year alone.

The findings also explain how around 8 in 10 of those overpaying are doing so because they feel it makes good financial sense, due to the low return on savings at present.

If you're one of the people not over paying on your mortgage, you're also in good company, as the research found that just under 3 in 10 of you would prefer to put your money into savings or spend the left over money on clothes or holidays.

If you're thinking about switching your mortgage or you're a first time buyer, here at Moneyextra.com we search and compare the best deals to make sure you get the best deal.

Despite recent claims, it's argued that mortgage rates are only falling for those who already have equity to invest in their property.

That's according to industry experts who say that prospective buyers with a ten per cent deposit, the average rate of interest is currently nearly 6.5 per cent, which is the highest it's been since December 2008.

However, in comparison for someone with a 25 per cent deposit, the average rate is 4.27 per cent, which is the lowest since July 2009.

A spokeswoman said "First-time buyers are being offered little incentive to enter the market and there are no real signs of things getting better anytime soon for those with a small deposit".

If you're a first time buyer, don't despair, here at Moneyextra.com we compare lots of different rates and deals, to make sure the money you've saved works hard for you.

An industry expert says the Bank's of England's decision not to extend its Special Liquidity Scheme will not lead to increased mortgage rates.Bank Governor Mervyn King ruled out extending the scheme, which was due to end in 2011, during the recent inflation report.The scheme means banks and building societies can swap mortgage backed bonds and other unwanted assets for government bills.The news follows concerns of people raised in the Telegraph, that mortgages will dry up and rates will rise sharply towards the end of the year because lenders will struggle to borrow from wholesale markets to fund deals.If you're first time buyers or looking to remortgage, here at Moneyextra.com we make it easy to compare the market and make your money stretch even further.

People who are faced with huge mortgage debts could be better off having their homes repossessed, according to the government's housing minister.The controversial comment came after figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed a 15 per cent rise in people losing their homes during 2009.John Healey told BBC Radio 4 that "sometimes it is impossible for people to maintain the mortgage commitments they've got". As a result, he said that repossession could be the 'best option'.To help you avoid repossession, why not take a look at Moneyextra's debt solutions. One of our debt advisors will call you direct to discuss the best options available.

The number of repossessions hit its highest in 14 years during 2009, figures have shown.The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed that 46,000 homes were repossessed last year. This is the highest number since 1995.However, the statistics showed that arrears and home possessions fell in the final quarter of the year – suggesting that some light is finally appearing at the end of the tunnel.Remember, if you are worried about your debt problems, Moneyextra has a range of debt solutions to help.

Housing market activity improved in January, despite freezing cold temperatures.That's according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), whose market report showed that Brits braved the bad weather to buy more homes than the previous month.The number of sales for first-time buyers also rose by four per cent – now making up nearly a quarter of the market.If you're looking to jump on the ladder, or simply step up a rung, look no further than Moneyextra. We can find the very best mortgage deals to suit you.

Yorkshire Building Society has revealed a trio of new mortgages today, as competition continues to improve on the market.Included is Yorkshire's lowest ever headline two year fix – available at 3.09 per cent and up to 60 per cent loan-to-value. This for a fee of £1,195.Also on offer are one and three year fixes of up to 75 per cent LTV – with fees of £195 and £495 respectively.This is the third time the building society has cut rates this year.Tom Girling, product manager for mortgages, said that the move will provide increased competition in the mortgage market.Remember, at Moneyextra.com, we compare and save to bring you the best deals at the lowest prices.

Co-operative Financial Services has announced cuts in its mortgage rates by up to 0.55 per cent.The new range will be available from Wednesday, and will include a best buy ten-year fixed rate at 5.29 per cent, available with an arrangement fee of £999.Three, five and ten year deals are offered at 75 and 85 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) and will be available to customers of both Britannia and The Co-operative Bank.The news came on the same day as Nationwide extended its LTV limit to 70 per cent on all fixed and tracker mortgages.Remember, Moneyextra compares the best deals around at the lowest prices.

Santander has reduced the rate on its five year fixed rate mortgage and launched a new two year tracker.First time buyers and homeowners will both be able to take advantage of the two year mortgage at up to 70 per cent loan-to-value.Interest on the fixed-rate mortgage is 3.44 per cent while the rate on the tracker mortgage is 2.49 per cent.The five year mortgage is available at an LTV of up to 75 per cent with an interest rate of 5.44 per cent.Mortgage director at Santander, Phil Cliff, says that "now is a great time to take advantage of the low mortgage rates available". He added that, whether customers are looking for a tracker or a fix, Santander have a variety of market-leading deals available.Here at Moneyextra.com we compare a whole host of mortgage deals to make sure you get the best mortgage at the cheapest possible price.

If economist's predictions come true and interest rates begin to rise again, then people with variable rate mortgages could see a big rise in their repayments within a year or two. Nearly 30,000 mortgage borrowers with Skipton Building Society will soon feel the effects of this as the bank hikes its rates to 2 per cent even though the Bank of England's rate remains unchanged. Citing exceptional circumstances the UK's fourth biggest building society announced their home loans would be charged at 4.95 per cent from March 1st.That will add £82 a month to the repayments on a £100,000 repayment mortgage which has 25 years to run. If your looking for a mortgage or to change a mortgage here at Moneyextra.com we compare lots of different rates to get you the best deal.

First time buyers have been given a glimmer of hope today as it's claimed availability of mortgages is on the rise.The BBC reports that the number of home loan deals on the market in the UK has jumped in the last month.The trend in lenders relaxing their criteria has continued with the number of deals on offer up by 20 per cent compared with the start of the year.The good news for first time buyers is that some of these include deals requiring a relatively small deposit of 10 per cent.If you're a looking at getting a mortgage for your first house, here at Moneyextra.com we compare lots of different deals and rates for you to ensure you get the best deal.

Reforms of the UK mortgage market, recommended by the Financial Services Authority are too timid and may cause a second housing crash after the general election. This follows a conference on long term thinking in finance. Houses process are now only 8 per cent below their peak in 2007 and assets prices are being propped up by cheap money from the lowest rates in history, leaving the market vulnerable. The provocative paper argues that new structures proposed by the FSA are unlikely to prove robust in future housing crises. It also suggests that the FSA should develop indicators for the resilience of the mortgage market, to help to identify potentially vulnerable areas. Here at Moneyextra.com we compare lots of different mortgages and rates fro you, to make sure you get the best deal at the cheapest price.

The number of mortgages being approved in the UK dropped last month for the first time in more than a year.That's according to new figures released by the bank of England, which claims that banks granted 59,023 loans last months, down from 60,045 in November.The Telegraph reports that economists had been expecting the figure to increase to nearly 62 thousand.Both Halifax and Nationwide suggest that the rally in prices is likely to stumble this year, as the economy struggles to make a strong recovery.Here at Moneyextra.com we take the hard work out of searching for a mortgage for you.We compare lots of different home loans to make sure you get the best deal.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) says borrowers who are in arrears need to get fair treatment. The watchdog's proposed new rules to try and bring down the number of repossesssions. They include making sure lenders apply payments to arrears first, and preventing firms from levying a monthly arrears charge if a payment plan's been agreed. Lesley Titcomb from the FSA says, "Lenders need to be in no doubt of their obligations to customers who fall behind with payments and must realise that such circumstances are not an opportunity to create further profits." If you're looking for a good deal on a new mortgage, here at MoneyExtra.com we compare and save to find the right deal for you.

Homeowners are having to shell out less of their income on mortgage payments than at any time for more than five years, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). New figures show the record low base rate of interest has meant that an average of 10.6 per cent of gross income's needed to cover the mortgage, compared to 11.1 per cent in October. The CML say that means the debt burden on property owners is actually the lowest since the organisation began looking at the data in 1974, and that it's making home ownership more affordable. If you're looking for a new mortgage deal, here at Moneyextra.com we compare loads of deals to find the right mortgage for you.

Homeowners are being warned to prepare themselves for a rise in interest rates, after a record increase in inflation. Figures from the Office of National Statistics show inflation leapt by a record 0.6 per cent on the previous month - equating to an annual rise of 2.9 per cent. The Bank of England sets its inflation target at 2 per cent. It's expected to go up again next month because of the VAT increase, and some analysts believe the Monetary Policy Committee will increase interest rates as a result. At Moneyextra.com we compare loads of different mortgages to make sure you get the best deal and make the most of your money.

Small and medium sized enterprises in the UK are favouring overdrafts over bank loans.That's according to a new study which claims that despite higher rates of interest, one in three companies had applied for as new overdraft facility in the past two years, compared to just one in five for a bank loan.An industry expert said "Business operators may feel an affinity with their current account provider, so seeking an overdraft extension rather than a loan from another provider may seem a more appealing option".He went onto say that "The rates of interest they face paying, are likely to be far higher than for a business loan".If you're looking for a current account or a loan to help your businesses or personal life, at Moneyextra.com we do all the hard work by comparing lots of different accounts and rates to make sure you get the most out of your money.

Banks are increasingly restricting the best mortgages deals to current account customers in an attempt to lock customers in during the recession.Banking specialist David Black, said "banks are increasingly focusing their cross selling initiatives upon their current account customers and this has all the hallmarks of a trend that will accelerate. According to research by the Daily Telegraph the proportion of home loans which require borrowers to have a current account with their lender is four times higher than a year ago.If your looking for a mortgage, here at Moneyextra.com we compare loads of deals to make sure you get the best deal and the right mortgage for you.

First time buyer mortgages are now affordable in nearly one in four of local authority areas across the UK.That's according to the latest Halifax First Time Buyer Annual Review, which claims that compared to 2007, when just six per cent of areas were affordable the situation has 'improved significantly'.Lower house prices and higher levels of affordability are joined by increased availability of mortgages, following a 33 per cent rise in the number of deals on the market from 1,209 in April 2009 to 1,610 in December. At Moneyextra.com we compare loads of different mortgages to make sure you get the best deal and make the most of your money.

Lenders are now competing for borrowers business, as loan rates are only slightly higher than they were two years ago when BBR stood at 5.5 per cent.From today Nationwide will be offering a new personal loan rate of 7.6 per cent APR typical for loans of between £7,500 and £14,000 for up to five years.Many people who have overspent at Christmas use a personal loan to consolidate their debt and reduce interest charges.Nationwide believe this is a popular strategy for people as in Jan 2009 almost 60 per cent of all of its loans were used for debt.If you're thinking about taking out a personal loan at Moneyextra we do all the hard work for you by comparing hundreds of prices and making sure you get the best deal.

The number of people taking out mortgages to buy a home rose again in November and the number of people looking for other loans and overdraft continued to fall.This means consumers have continued to pay back unsecured loans with consumer credit falling for the fifth month in a row.Although credit card lending rose slightly in November, people paid back 376 million more than they borrowed during the month.At Moneyextra we compare rates to make sure you get the best deal and the most from your money.Hetal Mehta, senior economic adviser to the Ernst and Young Item Club said "An acceleration in mortgage approvals and higher mortgage lending bodes well for housing market prospects, but it is unlikely to be sufficient to sustain the rapid price increases seen over the second half of 2009."

Mortgage lending in the UK fell 10% in November according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).That is the first monthly fall since August.Banks and Building Societies lent a total of £12 billion to new customers and those wanting to remortgage last month.That also amounts to a 14% year on year fall.The CML says although there is usually a seasonal fall at this time of year, 10% is a bigger drop than normal.With warnings of more job cuts and pay freezes in 2010, there are concerns the New Year could see a slow start for mortgage lending.

House prices are still being pushed up by a relative shortage of properties for sale, but comparing mortgages could mean you can still move house. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) its November figures show that prices have risen for the fourth month in a row. The number of surveyors reporting price rises outstripped those reporting falls, with a positive balance of 35 per cent. The Rics asks its members questions about prices, supply and demand. It says the latest figures are the strongest reading since November 2006 and that the trend is likely to continue. Despite modest increases in the number of properties coming on to the market, it's clear this isn't significant enough to keep pace with the levels of demand, says a RICS spokesperson. It's claimed to be a sign of an increasing level of buyer interest in the market. With such levels of demand, comparing mortgages and using a mortgage calculator could be the way for you to move house when you want.

If you're a Northern Rock customer then on January 1st you'll be told whether your mortgage will be held in the 'good bank' or 'bad bank' section of the institution.The nationalised bank will be split into two halves to pave the way for a partial sale.One business called Northern Rock plc, described as the 'good bank' will hold all savings accounts, carry out new lending and hold £10bn of existing mortgages.The second 'bad bank' will be called Northern Rock Asset Management plc will hold the majority of the mortgages and repay outstanding government loans.If you're a customer and you want to review your savings or mortgage options Moneyextra.com has loads of help and advice to ensure your money works hard for you.