A post-lock down stampede for home loans has seen Britain's lenders approve the most mortgages since 2007. Bank of England data showed that mortgage approvals for house purchases hit 97,532 in October, up from 92,091 in September and higher than all forecasts.
Analysts called the rush for mortgages a 'stampede'. The figure was about ten times higher than the trough of 9,400 in May.
The housing market has gone in to top gear due to the stamp duty holiday and a high demand for bigger properties post lockdown.
Average mortgage rates are soaring, Bank of England figures show. The average two-year fixed rate for borrowers with a 10 pc deposit jumped from 2.05 pc in January to 3.55 pc in October. Buyers with a 40 pc deposit saw rates creep up from 1.3 pc to 1.47 pc.
Boris Johnson has revealed that his government will bring forward proposals to introduce fixed-rate long-term mortgages to enable first-time buyers to purchase homes via 95% LTV mortgages.
The Prime Minister claimed that the initiative would add two million owner-occupiers to the housing market and fulfil one of his key party's 2019 election manifest promises.
He said during his speech to the Conservative's virtual national conference: "For most people it is still true that the overwhelming instinct is to buy. But for many of them simply can't, not because they can't afford the mortgage but because they can't afford the deposit. The disgraceful truth is that home ownershiplevels in this country have plummeted and that many are forced to pay through the nose to rent a home they can't truly love or make their own. This policy will create two million more owner occupiers - the biggest expansion since the 1980's of home ownership, to every part of the country."
Lenders are bringing back mortgages for borrowers with a 10 pc deposit in a boost for first-time buyer.
Nationwide and Metro Bank will offer 90 pc loan-to-value (LTV) deals after they were axed during lockdown.
The number of low-deposit deals had decreased as lenders cited concerns over a house price crash and fear of homeowners entering negative equity.
Nationwide cited the Chancellor's stamp duty holiday as a factor behind its decision to re-enter the market.
It says there is no limit to the number of loans it will be issuing to first-time buyers, but will only lend on houses that are at least two years old.
Two, three and five year fixed-rate and two year tracker products became available a few days ago.
Metro Bank has reintroduced 85 per cent and 90 pc LTV five year fixed deals at 2.99 pc and 3.29 pc respectively.
Both products have a £999 product fee and the maximum property value is £600,000. Customers who are furloughed will not be accepted.
Families can now manage their loved ones'finances and wellbeing using a new online service.
A lasting power of attorney is a vital document that appoints a trusted individual to manage your affairs if you are unable to.
But the current paper-based process means it can take weeks to contact organisations, as physical documents need to be posted back and forth.
To reduce delays, the Office of Public Guardian has launched a digital service called 'Use a lasting power of attorney' (gov.uk/opg).
Those acting as an attorney will be provided with a secure code which they must then enter online to confirm their status. Once this is done they will be able to send official documents electronically.
However, experts warn that digitalising the process could lead to arise in financial abuse. Kelly Greig, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, says:'We've been successful in resisting a fully online service and maintaining wet signatures for this very reason; the secure code be open to abuse.'
A Minister of Justice spokesperson says physical signatures are still used to protect vulnerable people.