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BoE figures show mortgage lending market ‘flat at best’

  • 04/01/2019
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BoE figures show mortgage lending market ‘flat at best’
Mortgage approvals dipped in November while the value of lending completions also rose at a slower rate, according to official data.


The Bank of England’s figures for November 2018 revealed 126,672 loans secured on dwellings were approved in the month, with £21.8bn lent out by financial institutions.

Approvals are down from 131,031 in October 2018 and also on the 132,845 total in November 2017.

Meanwhile, lending value is down from the £23.6bn total in October and on par with a year earlier of £21.7bn.

The bank noted that the number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell slightly to 63,700 in November, although approvals for remortgaging are broadly unchanged on the month at 48,600.

Overall, the annual growth rate of mortgage lending ticked down to 3.2% in November. It has been around 3% since late 2016, and remains modest compared to the pre-crisis period.


Flat at best

Anderson Harris director Jonathan Harris noted that given Brexit uncertainty during November the figures are fairly encouraging as “they show a market that is flat at best, rather than in sharp decline”.

“Mortgage approvals may be well down compared with the pre-crisis period but on the positive side we have moved away from boom and bust towards a more settled situation,” he said.

“With interest rates unlikely to rise anytime soon, mortgage products remain competitive and this is likely to continue into the first quarter of 2019 as Brexit negotiations trundle along.

“The January sales are extending to mortgages this year so borrowers in need of a new deal may find that there is something out there to tempt them,” he added.


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