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More People Must Rent Property Because Of Mortgage Problems

Mar 28, 2008
The credit crunch is affecting how ordinary people get mortgages, forcing them to continue to rent property.

That's a conclusion that can be drawn from two separate pieces of research which have been published this week. All in all it seems to show that the problems which started in American banks and affected Northern Rock last year, are now trickling down to the ordinary person.

The first piece of research was released by mortgage broker John Charcol. Its analysts found that the cost of borrowing has continued to rise. And that's despite attempts from the Bank of England to ease concerns about the credit problem.

Last week the Bank offered a staggering 5 billion in loans to the money markets, to try and stop all the worries about liquidity. The banks were pretty keen to get their hands on the cash - in total; requests for 25 billion were received!

This is on top of two welcome cuts in interest rates recently. In February and December last year the rates were reduced, to the current rate of 5.25 per cent.

So how exactly has this affected mortgages, forcing more people to rent property?

Well, all this action by the Bank unfortunately doesn't seem to have made a difference. It follows what's been seen as inaction by the government and concerns in the property market have continued.

The banks have agreed not to lend to each other until these problems get better. That's affected the availability of mortgages, meaning of course those who rent property have struggled to get one.

The mortgage broker speculates that the pretty average recent budget combined with problems on the stock market has acted against the Bank's actions.

Of late, it's been pretty tough for people who rent property to find a mortgage. The credit crunch has left few lenders willing to take on high risk mortgages. These can include first-time buyers who may not have a deposit, or may on paper be a bad credit risk due to their lack of previous ownership.

Charcol advises that the best thing for someone who's seen their ideal home in a property shop is to put down a bigger deposit, to reduce their risk in the eyes of the banks. Ten per cent of the purchase price is suggested to be a good level.

The other piece of research that's come out in the last few days and has affected those who currently rent property is about mortgage rates offered by the big banks.

MoneyFacts found that the big banks offer few of the best rates. They include the Halifax Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, Barclays, Northern Rock, Abbey, Nationwide and the Alliance & Leicester.

Its analysts found that of the top 250 mortgages available on the market, only 68 are offered by the top ten lenders. That's about 27 per cent. The website says that's surprising, as these lenders took 75% of the market two years ago.

26 of the most competitive deals on the market are offered by the Royal Bank of Scotland. That's well ahead of any of the other ten largest banks. HSBC also performed well with 13 products in the top 250, and First Direct had five mortgages.

In a separate story that affects people with mortgages more than those who currently rent property, Citizens Advice is reporting a huge increase in the number of people seeking help with mortgage arrears in the first two months of the year.

It said the number of people asking for help went up 35%. The pressure from rising utility bills and council tax charges were putting a lot of people under severe financial pressure.
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