Mortgage approvals down

Michael Lloyd

March 29, 2019

Mortgage approvals for house purchases and remortgages were both down in February, The Bank of England’s Money and Credit Statistics has found.

Mortgage approvals for house purchase, an indicator of future lending, fell back slightly, to 64,300, also slightly below the average of the previous six months of 65,500.

Approvals for remortgaging meanwhile were 47,700, below the 49,500 average of the previous six months.

Kevin Roberts, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Despite ongoing concerns about the strength of the UK housing market in the current political climate, the mortgage market remains resilient.

“Not only is it providing great support to buyers across the country with schemes such asshared ownership and Help to Buy, but the choice and flexibility on offer from lenders continues to attract borrowers looking for a good deal.

“For those unsure of how to make their homeownership dreams a reality, speaking to an independent adviser is a sensible first move.

“Good advice is absolutely essential to a successful mortgage journey, providing support at each step of the way and helping borrowers to find the solution best suited for their unique circumstances.”

Individuals’ net borrowing through mortgages was slightly weaker in February, at £3.5bn, and was slightly below the £3.8bn average of the past six months.

Annual growth of bank lending to businesses fell in February for large business and SMEs, reversing increases in January.

Nick Chadbourne, chief executive at LMS, added: “Activity in the remortgage market remains steady, just under the 6-month average of £8.8bn. This indicates strong consumer confidence, which provides a good opportunity for brokers and lenders to guide remortgagers through the different options available.

“Over the next few months, it is likely we will see a surge in remortgage activity. April 2019 will have the highest product expiry rate for the past two years and the current low interest rates won’t last forever, so homeowners will be looking to take advantage of these deals while they last.

“We are already seeing customers choosing longer term products when remortgaging and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues throughout the year.”

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