The new year is in full swing and one thing is for sure, with mortgage products and criteria changing on an almost hourly basis, there is never a dull moment!

Mortgage rates are still very attractive, starting from as low as 1.05% and whilst some lenders have the ability to move quickly, others have huge processing delays. It has never been more important than now to talk to a whole-of-market broker who will find you the most suitable lender that fits your needs and timeline.

Minimising your mortgage costs are of paramount importance in the current climate, with many people having less disposable income. We are helping our clients to save significant sums by comparing the products of over 200 lenders across the market and tapping into our extensive range of exclusive products.

The number of products requiring only a 10% deposit has increased significantly when compared to the second half of 2020, but these are sometimes only around for a very short period of time before being withdrawn. Whilst some lenders make their criteria more restrictive, there are still new entrants to the mortgage market who are looking to innovate and help borrowers in unusual situations. Given this volatility it is essential that you make sure that any advice you receive is accurate and up-to-date.

With many businesses suffering as a result of Coronavirus, borrowing is more difficult for the self-employed with major lenders making key changes. Santander recently restricted residential self-employed borrowing to a maximum of 60% of the property value. We do, however, have lenders who continue to support this sector by offering manual underwriting on a case-by-case basis, so that 90% lending can still be achieved.


Acorn sold board new

The property market is still hot with the pent up demand created as a result of lockdown, the stamp duty window and the uncertainty caused by Brexit – all of which is translating into a high volume of sales. The mortgage market has been growing at a rate of knots to support this increased residential activity. Bank of England data shows the number of mortgages approved by banks and building societies for home purchases jumped to 105,000 in November – the highest figure since August 2007, the month immediately before Northern Rock started to fail and the start of the financial crisis. It also shows that the number of monthly mortgage approvals increased by 7,700 when compared to October.


Bank of england


We have continued to operate safely throughout the pandemic which has been challenging at times, particularly with regards to the lack of face-to-face contact with our clients, colleagues and families. I am sure we are all suffering from a little Zoom fatigue! News of the vaccine working its way into the population, however, gives me great hope that we can soon shake hands with our clients and spend time with our loved ones, but until that eagerly awaited moment, we are fully open for business remotely. Given the fact that the volume of mortgage business has actually increased during the pandemic, when the world returns to something like normality, I expect the mortgage market to grow further with more lenders and more innovation, allowing the housing market to go from strength to strength.

If you need a mortgage for your next move or to buy an investment property, want to check you have the best rate currently or are looking to release equity from a property you already own for any reason, you should talk to a Start broker now, call 020 8315 6960, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

In the meantime stay safe.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage


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Grant Nicholls
Director - Start Financial Services