One of the North’s Big Four banks is now lending more to mortgage borrowers each month than at any time since 2007, and is also trying to hand out more loans, at reduced rates.
Ulster Bank today launched a major new drive to increase mortgage lending in the province through reduced mortgage rates and a cut and standardisation in arrangement fees.
The bank said it was also increasing the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and introducing a range of new fixed rates starting at 2.99%.
The announcement came just days after the bank’s latest sponsored survey signalled that house prices may have hit the bottom and that sales were on the up.
Mike Bamber, the bank’s chief executive of retail markets, said as well as its acclaimed initiatives for first-time buyers, the latest push demonstrated it now had a market-leading range of products, the funds to lend and an increased focus on supporting home movers and those wishing to remortgage.
Mr Bamber said: “It is one year this week since we introduced our successful momentum mortgage for first time buyers, which was followed by our co-ownership mortgage offer.”
They had also helped support the launch of a website for first time buyers, he said, but now wanted to help other sectors of the market.
“Ulster Bank customers have drawn down thousands of mortgages since January, but we are still not lending as much as we would like to homeowners. We welcome more demand,” he said.
The latest announcement made the best deals available to every kind of potential buyer, added Mr Bamber.
He said: “Our economist Richard Ramsey sees growing evidence that house prices have stabilised and Ulster bank can provide the mortgage lending necessary to build from this position.”
The bank said changes were effective from today and included:
Offering the same rates for purchase and remortgage customers;
Reducing the two-year discounted product to 2.99% (up to 75% LTV);
Introducing a market leading rate of 3.49% discounted for two years (for loans of 75% to 90%);
Introducing a competitive three year fixed rate to offer greater choice;
Increasing the maximum loan to value for remortgage customers to 90%;
Introducing the concept of a standard low arrangement fee of £495 (€547.52) for all products.