Number of mortgages approved up 3%

Michael Lloyd

July 17, 2018

There were 66,435 mortgages approved in June (seasonally adjusted), 3% higher than in May, the latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv, the residential chartered surveyors has found.

First-time buyers continued to be among the main beneficiaries, with 23.4% of the total mortgage market going to this type of borrower during June, higher than 22.4% in May.

Yorkshire was the top location for small deposit borrowers, with 33.7% of all loans going to these customers while in London this was just 16.2 borrowers.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “While the housing market appears to have plateaued in some areas, there was good news for those looking to borrow to fund a house purchase.

“Mortgage approval rates are up both compared to last month and the same point a year ago, suggesting that lenders are offering deals which are tempting more borrowers to the market.

“Speculation about a potential base rate rise in August may increase interest, as more borrowers look to lock in a low mortgage rate before any increases take place.”

The proportion of large deposit borrowers – defined by this survey as having a deposit of 60% or more – increased between May and June.

These borrowers occupied 32.9% of the market this month, modestly higher than last month, when it was 32.8%. Given small deposit borrowers also saw their market share increase it was the mid-market borrowers who saw their share of the market squeezed during June.

These customers saw their overall share of the market fall from 44.8% a month ago to 43.7% today, even lower than the 46.6% found in April.

Thanks to a rise in small deposit borrowers’ share and the increased overall market, there was a sharp increase in the absolute number of these borrowers getting finance this month.

Some 15,546 loans were approved to small borrowers during June, well above the 14,891 record a month earlier.

Sexton added: “Benign market conditions mean this has already been an excellent summer for small deposit borrowers, and this good form has continued into June.”

The London market remained the most difficult for first-time buyers to get a foothold into. Just 16.2% of loans in the capital went to borrowers with small deposits, lower than anywhere else in the country.

By contrast, those in Yorkshire enjoyed a much higher share of their local market. In this region some 33.7% of all mortgages went to those with small deposits – the highest recorded.

The North West enjoyed a similar rate of small deposit buyers, recording 32.1% this month, closely followed by Northern Ireland with a rate of 28.1%.

However, Northern Ireland displaced London as the part of the UK with the highest proportion of buyers with large deposits. In this region 39.8% of all approvals were to borrowers of this kind, ahead of London where the figure was 38.5%.

The South East, with 38%, was another area to be dominated by large deposit customers. Close behind was the South and South Wales regions (36.7%) and then Eastern England at 35.6%.

The North West was the region with the lowest proportion of buyers with small deposits, recording 22.3% in the month of June.

Sexton said: “It really is a postcode lottery as to the local market you experience. Areas of London and the South East continue to be dominated by cash buyers and those with large deposits.

“Yet the opposite is true in areas of northern England, where there are better opportunities for those with small deposits to get onto the property ladder.

“But with lenders offering low rates across the whole country, now is a good time to lock into a cheap mortgage deal before rates eventually begin to rise once more.”

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