Mortgage activity plummets by 10.8% in July

Ryan Bembridge

August 23, 2017

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UK mortgage sales fell by 10.8% in July after activity contracted in Scotland and Northern Ireland, Equifax Touchstone analysis has found.

In Scotland sales fell by 19.8%, followed by an 18.5% fall in Northern Ireland and a decline of 15.4% in the South East.

The fall in mortgage transactions was mainly limited to residential, as residential sales dropped by 12.8% while buy-to-let saw a minor decline of 0.2%.

There were £14.8bn of sales in July, down from £13bn in June but still 10.8% higher year-on-year.

John Driscoll, director at Equifax Touchstone, said: “These figures show how volatile the mortgage market can be.

“Sales have tumbled in July, with every region suffering substantial declines as buyers are put off by continuing political and economic uncertainty, coupled with the worrying gap between inflation and wage growth.

“These circumstances may be further compounded by the potential for an interest rate hike as early as September, driven by continued pressure on the pound.

“On a more optimistic note, mortgage sales are up over 10% year-on-year and a dip in sales for July is not uncommon; however, as the summer period comes to a close, the long-term outlook for the market still remains very unclear.”

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