Mortgage approvals drop to pre-pandemic levels
Mortgage approvals are back at pre-pandemic levels after a sharp fall in lending in October, according to the latest figures from the Bank of England (BoE).
Mortgage purchase approvals were down to 67,200 in October, from 71,900 in September, according to the latest Money and Credit statistics from the BoE.
Approvals for remortgaging increased to 41,600 – however, this is still well below the 12-month average to February 2020 of 49,100, but the highest since March 2020 (42,700).
Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, said: “The problem for the market at the moment doesn’t appear to be appetite, it is rather one of supply.
“With Propertymark reporting an average of 24 buyers per home on the market it is becoming almost untenable. Add to that the fact that we are not building the number of homes we should be and the supply problem is, as ever, a huge stumbling block to the long-term health of the housing market.
“Nevertheless, the fact that the prospect of rising interest rates is not discouraging people from looking for a new home, is encouraging in itself. It will be interesting to see whether current appetite continues in the face of potential further coronavirus measures as the government assesses the threat from this new variant.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: “These figures are interesting because they demonstrate a tipping point for the property market as the impact of the stamp duty holiday and the number of brought forward purchases was laid bare.
“Nevertheless, we have found at the sharp end there are still many trying to take advantage of low interest rates before their seemingly inevitable increase and buy houses rather than flats which are still lagging behind in the popularity stakes, particularly those without outside space.
“Looking forward, we don’t see too much change although we are expecting the bounce back in listings between December and January to be stronger than usual as buyers and sellers come to terms with the new normal.”
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