First-time buyers squeezed as lenders axe mortgage deals

Mortgage deals for first-time buyers have fallen by more than 40 per cent in the last year as the UK’s home credit crunch deepens.

According to Moneyfacts, 199 products were available over the weekend for home seekers looking to borrow up to 95 percent of the property’s value, up from 347 in June last year.

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What happened overnight?

Asian equities mostly fell as some investors took a wait-and-see stance after US markets were closed for a national holiday.

Some investors were also disappointed after a meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Antony Blinken yielded no sign of progress by either side on Taiwan, human rights, technology and other contentious issues.

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Investors were also concerned that China’s recent rate cut was not enough to boost confidence in the ailing economy and awaited a broader stimulus package from Beijing.

In a much-anticipated move, China cut two key interest rates for the first time in ten months, with the one-year policy rate (LPR) cut 10 basis points to 3.55% and the five-year LPR 10 basis points by the same margin to 4.20pc.

Tokyo’s leading index, the Nikkei, erased earlier losses and ended slightly higher despite falls in European stocks after Beijing’s central bank cut both of its interest rates.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1 percentage point to close at 33,388.91, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.3 percentage point to 2,283.85.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9 percent to 7,362.90. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.3 percentage points to 2601.07.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.4 percent to 19,627.86, while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.2 percent to 3,248.53.


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