Mortgage activity 10% lower than last year

Jessica Nangle

November 24, 2016

Mortgage approvals were 10% lower in October 2016 than the same month last year, the BBA’s High Street Banking Statistics show.

In the first 10 months of 2016 approvals were 4% lower than in 2015, though net mortgage borrowing was 2.5% higher than the equivalent period last year.

Remortgage activity is still going strong however, as approvals were 13% higher in the first 10 months of the year than last year and broadly flat in October.

Comparatively house purchase approvals were 10% lower than October 2015 and 4% lower for the first 10 months of the year.

Dr Rebecca Harding, chief economist at the BBA, said: “Mortgage approvals ticked up a little October.

“There has only been a relatively modest increase in activity since the Bank of England cut rates in August.”

Matt Andrews, managing director of Bluestone Mortgages, said:  “Fewer approvals and the continuing squeeze on affordability is pricing an increasing number of would-be homeowners out of the market.

“The UK workforce is changing – contractors have grown by 35% in the past three years alone.

“If more lenders were to offer a more personalised underwriting experience, working to understand the factors behind an individual’s circumstances, we would see an increasing number of hopeful buyers achieve their goal of homeownership.”

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