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Martin Woodhead from Heywoods comments on the current mortgage market. “It has been a tough few years for the mortgage market, high street lenders had pulled back from lending to all but the most attractive customers and many were finding it tough to get finance.

Borrowers across the county are finding it easier to obtain finance, regardless of their circumstances. Schemes such as the government's Funding for Lending programme have made it easier for banks, still recovering from the financial crisis, to grow their mortgage books.

The Bank of England has also reported that the number of mortgage loans approved in June has rocketed by 3,000 compared to the previous 6 months average and this could prove that there is renewed confidence in the mortgage market.

House purchase loans remained upbeat in June, the total value was up to £14 billion, maintaining steady optimism for further market recovery.

Buyer attention has been captured by fixed rate deals that have kept on falling, while product numbers were back up to nearly 10,000 in June. The government's Help to Buy initiative has also stirred interest, with a number of high street lenders putting forward competitive products specifically for the scheme.

But despite the new vigour, some old principles still remain true. Borrowers should save as big a deposit as possible, those with a deposit of just 5% can now find mortgages far more easily than in the past but those who can save extra funds can access much more attractive products at the 90% loan-to-value level.

Although the market is showing signs of progress, the number of mortgage approvals is still less than half of its peak ten years ago. While its improvement is promising, there is still much to be done before we can be assured of the sectors' return to glory.

There are some options for borrowers with bad credit but these remain limited, spending time improving your credit score and paying down debts will usually work out best in the long run. Credit reports, which all lenders consult before offering mortgages, can be obtain for a small fee from providers such as Equifax and Experian.

Getting professional advice also remains key, with a record number of products on the market a trained mortgage adviser can help find the right mortgage. But now is the best time to look for a mortgage in a number of years, don't miss the opportunity.

Martin Woodhead is from Heywoods – for further information call: 01782 664995 or visit: Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There will be a fee for mortgage advice.  The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances.  The fee is up to 1%, but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.