However, despite seeing a raft of regulatory changes throughout 2017, the same data showed that buy-to-let (BTL) mortgage products saw the strongest growth out of all the sectors, jumping by 32% to a record high of 2,959 as of 15 January 2018.
Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at Moneyfacts, says this trend of growing BTL product numbers is due to lenders having to diversify their offerings to accommodate landlords’ changing needs, and stand out in a competitive market.
“With all the changes that have happened, it’s caused providers to rethink what they offer,” said Nelson.
“Whereas previously one or two products could’ve satisfied [landlords], now perhaps lenders have to offer limited company options, and higher LTVs as well.
“It boils down to having a low rate environment – prices have got so low that lenders have to compete in other areas, such as removing product fees or giving cashback options.
“They have to offer a diverse range of products just to stand out from the crowd.”
With more lenders entering the market as well as a more diverse product range, Nelson says that consumers stand to benefit.
“It’s a good thing for borrowers – because they get to look at the whole of market, they can almost tailor the mortgage to fit their needs,” said Nelson.
She added: “It means they have to look through a vast array of products to find a good deal, but there are advisers for that if they’re unsure.”
Mortgage Brain’s first and second charge sourcing systems now list a total of 10,380 mainstream mortgage products, up from 8,373 in January 2017.
The data showed that 60%+ loan to value (LTV) products saw a big increase over the year, growing by 22% over the 12-month period, and currently accounts for 8,407 of all mainstream products available.
For products with 70%+ LTVs, an additional 1,090 products were added over the year – showing a 21% increase – there are now 6,364 products in this category available to advisers.
Mark Lofthouse, chief executive officer of Mortgage Brain, said: “While our latest data continues to show strong movement in product numbers over the past 12 months, our short term analysis is showing that product availability could be stabilising with less movement seen in the number of additional products for most types during the last quarter of 2017.
“There’s no doubt, however, that the market is in a much healthier place for all concerned in terms of product choice and availability when compared to the past two to three years.
“We’ll just have to wait to see what 2018 will have in store for us.”