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Mortgage approvals hit highest level since January – Bank of England

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  • 01/10/2018
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Mortgage approvals hit highest level since January – Bank of England
Mortgage approvals rose to 66,440 in August standing at £12.5bn from 65,156 or £12.3bn in July, hitting the highest monthly level since January 2018, data has shown.

 

In total, mortgage approvals increased to £22.6bn from £20.9bn last month, according to the latest report released by the Bank of England.

On the other hand, the number of approvals for remortgaging reached the highest level since November 2017, increasing to 53,125 from 44,795 the previous month, for a value of £9.3bn from £8bn.

The report showed that households borrowed an extra £2.9bn secured against their homes in August. Net lending has been relatively stable over the past year or so, but this was the lowest monthly secured net lending since July 2016, and the annual growth rate ticked down to 3.1% in August.

The annual growth rate of bank lending to non-financial businesses increased to 1.3% in August, but remains weak compared to the past two years.

This was driven by higher growth in lending to large businesses, which rose to 2.1% in August up from -0.2% in July, reflecting a base effect from a large increase in July 2017 washing out of the growth rate.

Annual growth in lending to small and medium sized businesses remained close to zero for the eighth consecutive month.

 

Aspiring borrowers are made aware of the various options available

Vikki Jefferies, proposition director at PRIMIS and PTFS, said that whilst the current growth rate for mortgage lending remains steady, it is still vital that brokers ensure the lines of communication with clients are kept open.

He added: “Each month, more and more mortgage products are introduced to the market, and many of these are welcoming customers with non-traditional circumstances, such as self-employed and contract workers. As a result, brokers must ensure that aspiring borrowers are made aware of the various options available to them.”

Sales and marketing director at OneSavings Bank, John Eastgate, said that Brexit and its possible consequences hang over every aspect of the economy.

He added: “These numbers come shortly after drastic falls in house prices were forecast in the event of a no-deal scenario and more broadly, the general discord in government can serve only to further challenge the already depressed levels of consumer confidence, especially when it comes to personal finances.

“Calls to stimulate housing demand through, for example stamp duty reforms, represent a well-intentioned attempt to stimulate activity however until we have some certainty about our post-Brexit position, such attempts risk only further complication of the UK’s already complex position in respect of housing policy.”

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