The chartered surveyor’s latest Mortgage Monitor report found there were 66,185 seasonally adjusted mortgage applications approved in September.
This figure was down by 0.6%, compared to August but remained well above September last year with approval levels 4.7% higher than 12 months ago.
E.surv director Richard Sexton said: “Mortgage approval rates have remained impressively high over the summer months, as buyers take advantage of low mortgage rates and buy a home for the first time or move up the property ladder.
“It is particularly striking when compared to 12 months ago when the market was contracting following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. A year later and the housing market is back on its feet and motoring along nicely.”
Big deposit boost
Despite the low rates continuing in the market, the survey found that borrowers with larger deposits were more evident.
Borrowers with a deposit of 60% or more gained their highest share of the market for eight months in September, accounting for 35% of the mortgage market during the month, ahead of 34.4% in August.
In contrast, small deposit borrowers dropped month-on-month from 20.3% to 19.8%, although this was still well ahead of the most recent low point last December when they made up just 16.1% of the market. However, it is a drop from the 2017 peak of 21.5%, which was recorded in April.
The North West was most friendly for small deposit borrowers, while London was perhaps unsurprisingly the most difficult place to get a foothold.
Sexton added: “Borrowers in London who don’t have either a big deposit saved or large amounts of equity in their existing property are finding things particularly difficult.
“These markets are dominated by those with cash to splash, making it more difficult for young buyers to get onto the ladder. By contrast, northern England and Northern Ireland are the markets most receptive to those with a small deposit.
“This month it was the North West which was the best location for first-time buyers, but Yorkshire and Northern Ireland are also ideal places to get onto the property ladder for the first time.”