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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Mortgage deals “spike” as lenders prepare to pull rates

August has seen a spike in the number of mortgage deals as buyers look to snap up cheap loans before interest rates rise.

The spike is already the highest seen for five years, and follows yesterday's news that the August market is the strongest since the credit crunch.

The figures come from Leeds-based corporate law firm Shulmans LLP, whose conveyancing division handles many of the UK's major lenders and has reported an “extraordinary jump” in the number of mortgage deals in the past two weeks.

Head of conveyancing Victoria Mortimer said: “Normally transactions are low in August due to holidays, but we’ve got more work on than ever compared with the same time in previous years. 

“As a national, large-scale conveyancer we are well-placed to spot emerging trends and there’s no doubt about this one. People are getting their finances sorted before the end of the year.”

Mortimer said the surge in property transactions is down to record low mortgage rates, relaxed LTV ratios, and Bank of England governor Mark Carney's warning that rates would rise around the turn of the year.

She said lenders will start to pull their low interest rate products soon and reduce the period over which rates can be fixed.

“On a more positive note, LTV constraints have lessened, with many lenders now being satisfied with 90% LTVs rather than the 70% many demanded in recent years.

“Lenders’ purse strings have loosened but everything remains within Financial Conduct Authority regulations, so I cannot see a return to the sub-prime situation of past years.  

“More people are taking new mortgages out, and many more are remortgaging. This is the busiest summer for lending in a very long time.”

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