ULSTER Bank has launched a major drive to increase mortgage lending in Northern Ireland through reduced mortgage rates and a cut and standardisation in arrangement fees.
The bank – which claims to be now lending more to mortgage borrowers each month than at any time since 2007 and lending more at reduced rates – said it was also increasing its 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 in the North 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 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 re-mortgage.
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.
Mr Bamber added that the bank had seen growing evidence that house prices in Northern Ireland have stabilised.
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