UK Finance: Mortgage approvals up 3.2%

Jessica Nangle

September 25, 2019

Mortgage approvals for home purchases were up 3.2% in August according to the latest Household Finance Update by UK Finance.

There were 85,891 mortgages approved by the main high street banks in August.

Remortgage approvals rose by 0.1% whilst approvals for other secured borrowing fell by 0.4% year-on-year.

Gross mortgage lending across the residential market in August was £24bn which is a 3.2% decline from the same month in 2018.

Personal deposits grew by 1.4% in the year to August whilst personal borrowing through loans also increased, by 4.5% year-on-year.

Kevin Roberts, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Households continue to take advantage of the exceptionally competitive mortgage rates available.

“At the same time, schemes such as Help to Buy and shared ownership are helping to ensure that new borrowers can meet the necessary affordability requirements to buy their first property, while also securing a great value product.

“Whether it’s a first-time buyer, second stepper, or someone seeking a mortgage into retirement, using an independent mortgage adviser is always a good idea.

“With access to nearly six times more products than going direct to a lender, advisers are uniquely placed to direct individuals towards the products that best meet their particular needs.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, added: ‘Mortgage approvals for home purchase and remortgaging were slightly higher in August compared with the same month last year, suggesting that some people are carrying on buying and selling property regardless of the prevailing Brexit uncertainty.

“Lenders are certainly keen to lend. While Sainsbury’s Bank announced this week that it was pulling out of the mortgage market, there are many more lenders who are committed to doing business and are offering exceptionally low rates to entice borrowers.”

Richard Pike, sales and marketing director at Phoebus Software, also commented: “Overall, although the full market figures were lower than 2018, August showed some resilience in mortgage lending, especially lending from high street banks.

“This perhaps shows that many borrowers are creatures of habit and prefer to stick to the high street than shop around for better deals elsewhere.

“With the ONS reporting that property transactions in August increased, up almost a third from July, it looks like completions in the coming months will show healthy activity.

“It appears that despite everything that is being thrown at us, in what has to be said are very uncertain times, the issue of moving or buying a new home is a wheel that really does keep on turning.

“As parliament gets underway again today it remains to be seen whether activities in Westminster will see people apply the brakes to any housing plans, which could affect the numbers down the line.”

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