The number of mortgage products available has increased for yet another month to stand at a whopping 4,657. While it's great to see that there is so much choice, increasing the likelihood that everyone can find the deal that works best for them, it also means that if you're looking for a new mortgage, or to remortgage, you will have to think carefully about what you want.
The data, taken from Moneyfacts' monthly Mortgage Treasury Report, shows that the number of live deals has risen by 53 on July and by 843 on last August, when there were 3,814 deals available. Choice has been increasing for longer than that, though, with this month's boost marking the 15th month in a row that product numbers have improved.
Indeed, the residential mortgage market has grown substantially since product numbers hit an all-time low of 1,209 in April 2009. Even compared to five years ago, when the number of products stood at 2,888, there has been an increase of 61%.
The most recent boost in product numbers is largely due to lenders entering the three-year fixed rate market, as Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at Moneyfacts, explains: "With the two-year fixed rate sector still seeing heavy competition, providers are starting to look elsewhere, and the three-year fixed rate market offers providers an opportunity that some have used to branch out."
Indeed, the number of deals available in the three-year fixed market has increased by 48 to 439 this month, as "the talk of an impending base rate rise means that borrowers are starting to look at their options to protect themselves from a potential rise in monthly repayments," according to Charlotte.
It's not surprising that the three-year market is getting such attention, since some will consider a five-year fixed rate deal too long, making a three-year fixed deal the perfect compromise between fixing for several years and getting a competitive rate. However, Charlotte warns that: "With the average three-year fixed rate standing at 2.54% in August, borrowers will need to decide whether the extra year's security is worth a 0.31% premium compared to the average two-year rate of 2.23%."
With all this choice, across several types of mortgage, it can be difficult to decide what the best thing to do is. That's why Charlotte says "it is important that borrowers seek the advice of a financial adviser to ensure they get the best deal for them." Other than seeking professional advice, you could look at the various mortgage Best Buys to see if there's a deal that speaks to you – saving you the trouble of looking through all 4,657 products yourself.
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.