Mortgage approvals reached a 10-year high as data from UK Finance showed the main high street banks approved 95,126 mortgages in July 2019 – the highest monthly total since July 2009’s figure of 99,970.
Mortgage approvals for home purchases were 16.4 per cent higher, remortgage approvals were 19.4 per cent higher and approvals for other secured borrowing were 12.7 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier.
This follows on from data released by UK Finance last week which showed that quarterly mortgage activity in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reached £592m, boosted by first-time buyers, home purchasers and remortgagors. Despite a decline in business in the region, the number of first-time buyers in London rose 1.2 per cent to reach 9,960 – in line with first-time buyer numbers across the rest of the country.
A possible ‘seasonal blip’
Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, said: “It will be very interesting to see what the figures look like in September and October when the latest HMRC figures showed that property transactions fell considerably in July. Is it just the usual seasonal blip, or is there an underlying trend?”
Brexit freeze thaws
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said while the figures didn’t represent a “summer bounce” they showed the “resilience among serious buyers and sellers” as well as a “determination to put Brexit concerns to one side”.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added: “…It looks as though many borrowers are shaking off their indecision and getting on with things.”