BOE: Mortgage approvals rise in March
The number of approvals rose to 53,504 compared to 51,947 in February and 1,000 higher than analysts’ predictions.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The number of approvals for house purchases edged higher in March than the average seen over the past six months suggesting that the uptick in enquiries brokers and estate agents have been seeing since the start of the year are finally feeding through to higher official numbers.
“However if the number of those buying and remortgaging is to be seriously boosted then lenders need to address better rates at higher loan-to-values.
“We don’t need ever cheaper rates for those with a 40% deposit or similar level of equity in their homes.
“What we do need is more relaxed criteria, making it easier for those with more modest deposits to get the funding they need.
“What is needed is more innovation from lenders, coming up with ways to make life easier for those struggling to buy.”
Interest rates for households and businesses have also continued to fall. Effective interest rates for businesses have dropped from 2.66% since the launch of Funding for Lending in August last year to 2.57% in March down 0.1 percentage points from February.
Average mortgage rates in March dropped from 3.5% to 3.43%.