The number of mortgage approvals stood at 67,109 in November, marginally higher compared to 67,011 recorded in October 2018 and up 4% year-on-year, the latest Mortgage Monitor from E.surv found.
The report showed that low rates offered by mortgage lenders continue to represent good value for those with an appetite to commit to remortgaging. Additionally, first-time buyers have continued to increase their market share.
In November 25.9% of all loans went to borrowers with a small deposit. This is higher than the 24.6% recorded a month ago and up on the 24.2% market share in September.
The firm noted this has helped sustain activity towards the end of the year as typically searching for new homes tails off as the country heads into winter.
Richard Sexton, director at E.surv (pictured), said cheap mortgages were attracting a consistent level of borrowers into the market, regardless of the weather.
He added: “However, in December mortgage lenders often look to secure their annual targets, sometimes resulting in keenly-priced deals on offer at the end of the year.
“We have already seen a number of cheap first-time buyer deals launch in recent weeks, and other lenders could follow suit.”
Increase in small deposit borrowers once again
The number of mortgages approved for small deposit buyers rose once again in November, as the market share of mid-market and large deposit borrowers was squeezed.
However, large deposit borrowers accounted for 28.9% of the market in November, lower than the 29.6% recorded a month ago.
Despite this fall, the proportion of loans to mid-market borrowers dropped back month-on-month. This was thanks to the rise in loans to small deposit customers.
Some 45.2% of all loans went to mid-market borrowers this month, slightly down on the 45.8% recorded in October.
On an absolute basis, the number of small deposit borrowers grew rapidly from 16,485 to 17,381.
Yorkshire is small deposit hotspot
Northern regions of England and Northern Ireland continued to be the most attractive for small deposit house hunters.
In Yorkshire, 34.8% of loans were awarded to borrowers with smaller deposits, followed by the North West (31%), Northern Ireland (29.2%) and Midlands (28.5%).
At the other end of the scale, just 16.5% of borrowers in London were in this category with the South East following, where the figure was 20.9%.
London and the South East saw their respective markets dominated by those with cash to splash.
Large deposit borrowers made up 38.2% of the market in London, while in the South East this was 35%.
Yorkshire (20.7%), the North West (22.8%) and the Midlands (24.9%) all saw fewer than a quarter of mortgage approvals go to this segment of the market.
In Northern Ireland 27.8% of mortgages were to those with larger deposits.