Northern Ireland news

Hundreds of mortgage deals vanish from market amid wider economic turmoil

Hundreds of mortgage deals have vanished from the market in recent days amid wider economic turmoil

Bank of Ireland UK is among a number of lenders who have temporarily withdrawn mortgage products amid current economic turmoil.

The bank said it withdrew all residential and buy-to-let rates on Monday, adding that it will launch new ranges as soon as possible.

The price of UK government borrowing increased following last week's mini-budget.

Halifax said it would stop mortgages with product fees.

Danske Bank, one of the biggest lenders in Northern Ireland, said: "We are monitoring the competitive landscape closely to ensure our mortgage product offering is in line with the wider market."

Analysis of the market by found that on Friday last week, the day of the mini-budget, 3,961 residential mortgage products were available.

By yesterday this week, the total had fallen to 3,880.

By today, it had shrunk further to 3,596 deals.

The overall choice of mortgage deals remains significantly higher than it was during the depths of the coronavirus pandemic, which also caused significant economic uncertainty.

A particular low point was in October 2020, when 2,259 mortgage deals were available.

During the pandemic, low-deposit mortgage deals, often used by first-time buyers, were particularly at risk of being pulled as lenders were concerned about "riskier" lending.

But this time around, the mortgage withdrawals appear to be more evenly spread across different loan-to-value (LTV) brackets.

David Hollingworth, associate director communications at broker L&C Mortgages, said those who already have a deal agreed with their lender do not need to worry.

He also said that he did not think it would be too long before lenders come back with new deals.

Mr Hollingworth said that while it is not unusual for lenders to withdraw deals, what has happened in recent days has been "incredibly fast-paced".

He said that "lenders are having to rethink", which may be due to cost changes, as swap rates, which lenders use to price their mortgages, have increased.

Lenders will also have an eye on what others in the market are doing and will want to price in a way which protects their own service levels, he added.

Mr Hollingworth said he expects them to "relaunch once the dust settles" - which could generally be at higher rates than previously.

The Bank of England is expected to hike its base rate by another two percentage points by the end of the year, and rates could top 6per cent next year, according to market expectations.

Interest rates of 6 per cent would push this typical mortgage payment up by around a further £80 a month, or roughly £1,000 a year.

Northern Ireland news