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July mortgage house purchase approvals hit two-year high

  • 30/08/2019
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July mortgage house purchase approvals hit two-year high
Mortgage approvals for house purchase, which also show the direction of future lending, rose to 67,300 in July, the strongest figures for two years.


However positive the figures, this remains within a narrow range as the annual growth rate also stayed at 3.2 per cent, which is close to 2016 levels, according to the Bank of England’s Money and Credit report.

The central bank also announced that gross mortgage lending for July was down to £21.4bn – the lowest for two years.

The figure was a drop from £21.6bn in June, continuing a slide over the last four months from £22.4bn in April.

The reports are used by the BoE’s policy committees to understand economic trends and developments in the banking system.

Net consumer credit rose by £0.9bn in July, broadly in line with the average seen over the past year and the annual growth rate of consumer credit remained at 5.5 per cent in July, markedly down from the 10.9 per cent high of November 2016.

Within the July figure, the extra amount borrowed for other loans and advances fell on the month to £0.6bn, while net credit card borrowing remained stable.


Steady as she goes

Commentators across the market celebrated the resilience and stability of the mortgage lending and advice markets despite the political upheaval.

Kate Davies, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, said: “The mortgage market clearly remains in a strong position despite turbulent times in Westminster. IMLA’s research has shown that borrowers’ appetite for finance continues to grow – completion rates are on the rise and intermediaries’ confidence in the market remains strong.”

“Ongoing political uncertainty is undoubtedly on the minds of people looking to step onto or up the housing ladder, but advisers are playing an important role supporting these borrowers,” she said.

Danny Belton, head of lender relationships, Legal & General Mortgage Club said: “Innovation from lenders is helping to provide the solutions for borrowers to join and climb the property ladder, while competition in the sector means that there are some great opportunities and deals available for those looking to buy or remortgage.”

Richard Pike, sales and marketing director at Phoebus Software, said the Bank of England’s latest figures, alongside Land Registry data confirming a 15.3 per cent increase in homes sold shows a healthier market now than at the beginning of the year.

But, he cautioned: “We do have to ask whether this particular turnaround is as a result of the uncertainty of what may happen after October 31 when the UK leaves the EU? It is only natural that people are looking to the future and wondering how the market will fare post-Brexit.”


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