Many Britons cannot afford to get on to the property ladder despite reductions in mortgage rates, says Click n go Mortgages.

Hayley Martin, team leader at the mortgage advisory firm, believes current loan-to-value rates are blocking many people's attempts to buy a house.

Because lenders are not offering a rate of more than 90 per cent, while an ordinary house on the market via an estate agent is going for about £150,000, people cannot afford the £15,000 deposit, Ms Martin said.

Figures published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders today showed that gross mortgage lending reached about £12.6 million in December, down 47 per cent on the same month in 2007.

"It's only if you've got a really large deposit or a lot of equity in your home that you can take advantage of the low rates,"Ms Martin added.

The trend could indicate sustained demand for rental accommodation in 2009 as would-be homebuyers switch to renting after failing to obtain suitable mortgage finance.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18985381-ADNFCR

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