Absence of high LTV mortgages 'causing market stagnation'

The property sector is suffering as first-time buyers (FTBs) remain priced out of the market due to the absence of high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages, an expert has warned.

Louise Cuming, head of mortgages at price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com, says the government has failed to persuade lenders to offer affordable products to FTBs.

Research by the company has shown that 102 products of a 90 per cent LTV were available this month, compared to 3,148 in January 2007.

In addition, the average borrowing rate for a 90 per cent mortgage during this period has increased from 1.2 per cent above the Bank of England base rate to 5.73 per cent.

In April the average mortgage taken out by FTBs had a LTV rate of 75 per cent, according to research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Ms Cuming said: "A ten per cent deposit is all most first-time buyers can hope to afford, so by pulling 90 per cent LTV deals off the shelf, and increasing rates on the remaining deals, providers are keeping first-time buyers out of the market - which simply exacerbates market stagnation."

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