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First mortgage product increase in eight months, says Mortgage Brain

The number of live mortgage products has increased for the first time in eight months, according to Mortgage Brain.

The total number of live mortgages listed on its sourcing system increased by 13 per cent during March: up from 2,731 on March 2 to 3,091 on March 30.

According to the sourcing system, trackers products increased by a fifth while both fixed and variable rates increased by 11 per cent. It says the number of mainstream lender products with an 80 per cent or lower LTV ratio also increased in the past month, which Mortgage Brain says may be an early indicator that confidence in the market is returning and that general house price falls have de-risked the higher LTV loans.

The 12-month analysis, however, still paints a bleak picture with an 80 per cent drop in the total number of live products compared to this time last year.

Mortgage Brain chief executive Mark Lofthouse says: “Although the market is still a long way from where it was 12 months ago we are starting to see the first increases in product availability for some considerable time.

“It’s important, particularly in the current climate, that we continue to closely monitor these changes as over time they represent early indicators of market movement. It is also encouraging to see that the number of mainstream lender products with a higher LTV ratio are increasing.”


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Absence management systems gone AWOL from UK’s SMEs, reports Jelf

A quarter (23 per cent)* of the UK’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have an absence management system in place, according to new research from Jelf Employee Benefits. Despite 69 per cent* of organisations having a system in place, three-quarters (75 per cent) report that it is not providing them with sufficiently empowering absence or health data to inform an effective wellbeing programme.


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