Mortgage lending holds steady at £21.4bn in August

Mortgage Introducer

September 29, 2017

Gross mortgage lending held steady at £21.4bn in August, the Bank of England’s Money and Credit figures show.

This was roughly in line with the previous six month average of £21.3bn, despite falling slightly from £21.6bn in July.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Lending held up in August, down slightly on the previous month but to an extent this reflects the quieter summer period.

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“Lenders remain keen to lend and offer competitively-priced products, with several 2-year fixes still available around 2%.

“However, really cheap deals are not around for long, with Accord pulling its sub 1% mortgage after a few days due to being inundated with demand.

“Swap rates have risen in the past couple of weeks on the back of suggestions from the Bank of England that interest rates could start edging upwards, which may reflect mortgage pricing going forward but at the moment lenders are keen to attract business.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, agreed that the figures show its business as usual for the housing market despite some buyers being somewhat cautious.

He said: “These figures are interesting because they reflect what we were seeing in the market in the spring and summer; in other words, a more cautious approach from buyers nervous about the impact of Brexit and an uncertain economy.

“However, the figures also show that buyers were getting on with their business at the time and don’t reveal any signs of collapse in activity, which had been forecasted in some quarters and is not what we are seeing on the high street.”

Jonathan Sealey, chief executive at Hope Capital, advised consumers to review the current rate they are paying to prepare for any potential rise in interest rates.

He said: “Figures released this week show a market with little change month on month.

“However, there continue to be opportunities, especially for brokers with clients on standard LTV’s or coming to the end of their fixed rates.

“Many believe, and have spoken out, that there will be an interest rate rise before the end of this year, that remains to be seen.

“There is a lot that could change between now and then, but it is prudent for everyone to look at their current rate and make the right move before any change does come.

“Educating clients on the effect even a small increase could make is an important step for advisers in the coming months.”

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