BoE: Net mortgage borrowing reached £4.6bn in December

Jessica Nangle

January 31, 2020

Net mortgage borrowing by households was £4.6bn in December which is above the £4.2bn average seen over the past six months, according to the latest Bank of England Money and Credit Statistics.

The annual growth rate for mortgage borrowing remained at 3.4%.

Mortgage approvals for house purchase also rose in December to 67,900, which is above the 65,900 average of the past six months.

Approvals for remortgage rose slightly on the month to 49,700.

Rob Barnard, director of intermediaries at Masthaven, said: “Our recent Broker Beat survey showed that broker sentiment is at an all-time high, with a 26% increase in positive sentiment since 2018.

“Our figures, coupled with stable lending throughout 2019 show customers are refusing to let wider uncertainty quell their moving plans.

“The number of remortgage applications have also continued to climb over the year.

“Brokers told us they have seen this area climb over the last two years, more than any other type of lending.

“Clearly more and more homeowners are opting to ‘improve not move’ or release equity or funds.

“Given the growth in remortgaging numbers, brokers would be wise to work with lenders who offer good alternatives such as second charge loans and those who have a wide range of lending products in their arsenal to ensure they are offering the best option available to their customer”.

Kevin Roberts, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “These lending figures from the Bank of England provide further indication that the mortgage market remained steady and resilient in the final months of 2019, even in the lead up to a General Election.

“At Legal & General Mortgage Club, we also saw a strong end to the year with a record number of completions for December, and with a reduction in political uncertainty we anticipate the wider mortgage market will enjoy further growth in the early part of 2020.

“Consumers across the country are still clearly reaping the benefits of a highly competitive mortgage market, whether they are taking their first step onto the ladder or locking into a competitive fixed rate when remortgaging.

“In many instances, these borrowers are drawing on the expertise of an independent adviser to help them find the right mortgage to make their housing plans a reality.”

Andrew Montlake, managing director at Coreco, said: “December usually sees a drop-off in mortgage activity but the prospect of a potentially disruptive General Election result clearly focussed the minds of homeowners and prospective homeowners alike.

“Throughout November and into the first half of December many people sought to get their houses in order before the nation went to the polls.

“Those already in homes wanted to lock into competitive fixed rates and those seeking to get onto the ladder were keen for it to happen before yet more potential upheaval.

“Activity levels in January picked up yet again but weren’t off the scale.

“There’s a definite sense that people want to get through Friday 31st and into February before they assess their position.

“The mortgage and property markets are likely to be stronger this year than in 2019 but at the same time we’re not expecting fireworks.

“While there may be political stability, the economy is still struggling to fire and the progress of the trade negotiations throughout the year could weigh heavily on sentiment.”

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