Households borrowing more secured against their homes

Michael Lloyd

October 29, 2018

household finances during pandemic

Households borrowed an extra £3.9bn secured against their homes in September, following slightly weaker flows in July and August of £3.3bn and £3.1bn, respectively, The Bank of England’s Money and Credit statistics showed.

The annual growth rate of mortgage lending was unchanged at 3.2% in September. It has now been around 3% since late 2016, and remains modest compared to the pre-crisis period.

Kevin Roberts, director, Legal and General Mortgage Club, said: “Despite the ongoing uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations, the mortgage market continues to perform strongly with more choice for customers as a growing number of products become available.

“However, with so many different options now available to borrowers, around 5000 products in total, choosing the right mortgage can often be overwhelming.

“This is where a mortgage broker can lend a helping hand to borrowers, whether they’re buying their first home or making their next move.

“Advisers have the extensive knowledge and understanding of the market to help customers find a mortgage that can make their homeownership ambitions a reality.”

The number of mortgages approved for house purchase was broadly unchanged at 65,000 in September, an indication of the potential trend in new mortgage lending in coming months.

The number of approvals for remortgaging remains close to its recent peak, although it fell back on the month to 49,000.

Ross Boyd, founder of mortgage platform, Dashly.com, said: “Against such an uncertain political and economic backdrop, it’s no surprise that mortgage lending volumes, like house prices, are rising only modestly.

“It’s unlikely we’ll see a material uplift in mortgage volumes during the rest of 2018 and early 2019. While they dipped slightly in September, remortgages have been the defining trend of 2018 to date.

“Faced with stubbornly high inflation, interest rate uncertainty and the sheer unknown that is Brexit, many households have taken pre-emptive action. A huge question mark hangs over 2019 and a significant number of households have remortgaged to strengthen their position.

“There’s no good time to be on a lender’s standard variable rate but that message has never been more important as we enter a period of potentially extreme political and economic volatility.”

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