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Property news roundup: Online mortgage applications set to double

Plus, deposits still a barrier to buying, and how do house prices compare to 2007?

Nearly one in six homeowners applied for their current mortgage online, a figure which is set to double, with a third saying they are likely to apply for their next mortgage this way in the future.

According to latest research from HSBC, two thirds of the 1,700 people polled also expect to apply for insurance policies online.

However, just under half of homeowners who expect to remortgage, say they plan to speak to an adviser face-to-face for their next application.

"With current and prospective homeowners becoming more comfortable with the convenience and control of managing their finances online, and with the time taken to complete the mortgage application process reduced to just 30 minutes, it is perhaps less of a surprise that online mortgage applications are set to double," said Peter Dockar, Head of Mortgages at HSBC.

Almost four out of five householders who applied online for their last mortgage would do so again. Younger homeowners are the most likely to apply for a mortgage online, with half of those aged 25-34 planning to do so compared to 19 per cent of over-55s.

Current house prices vs 2007/08 peak

Property statistics expert Neal Hudson from Savills has put together an intriguing map of house prices using the recent Land Registry figures.

Saving for a deposit still a major obstacle to buying a home

More than 80 per cent of British adults feel that saving a deposit remains the key obstacle to owning a home, a report from mortgage insurer Genworth indicates. 

Although nearly four out of five homehunters believe borrowing money from parents is still essential to fund a deposit, a separate study by Genworth among hopeful first-time buyers shows the reality is that less than one in five can rely on the bank of mum and dad this way.

"Standard of living costs have also risen considerably in the past few years and saving continues to be difficult for many. With most British households anticipating that house prices are going to continue to rise while wage levels will not, the difficulties households face in saving for a deposit are not going to go away," said Simon Crone, Vice-President, Mortgage Insurance Europe at Genworth.