Home Property Finance & InvestmentMortgages Mortgage approvals climb for fifth consecutive month

Mortgage approvals climb for fifth consecutive month

2nd Apr 24 3:13 pm

In February the number of mortgages approved increased to the highest level since the mini-budget under Liz Truss.

According to the Bank of England’s figures, around 60,383 mortgage approvals were recorded which is the highest figure since September 2022.

Following the mini-budget under Truss this is the first time approvals have been above 60,000.

On Tuesday Nationwide Building Society said that the average house price dropped by 0.2% month on month in March.

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at estate agent Savills, said: “A small monthly fall in house prices in March is a reminder that, despite a stabilisation in mortgage rates, affordability pressures remain for mortgaged buyers.

“Encouragingly, mortgage approvals for house purchases continued to pick up in February, rising above 60,000 for the first time since September 2022.

“However, they remain below their pre-pandemic norm of around 66,000, in a market where cash and equity-rich buyers still have a competitive buying advantage.”

CEO of Octane Capital, Jonathan Samuels, said, “So far this year, the number of mortgages being approved has accelerated considerably and we’re now seeing this initial indicator of market health return to levels not seen since 2022, before the market started to cool as a result of higher mortgage rates.

“This is despite the fact that we’re yet to see an interest rate cut or any kind of buyer initiative introduced by the government, although there’s no doubt buyer confidence has been boosted by the prospect of lower interest rates on the horizon.”

Founder and CEO of easyMoney, Jason Ferrando, said, “It was only a matter of time before the market started to find its feet and it would appear that the nation’s buyers have now adjusted to the new normal where the higher cost of borrowing is concerned.

“All signs now point to a far stronger year for the UK property market and while higher mortgage rates remain an obstacle, it’s a matter of when, not if, they start to subside.”

Ruth Beeton, Co-Founder of Home Sale Pack, said, “A surge in mortgage market activity bodes very well for the year ahead where the top line health of the housing market is concerned but improving market conditions bring other potential pitfalls.

“While buyer confidence is building in anticipation of lower mortgage costs in 2024, higher demand will put further strain on a transactional process that simply isn’t fit for purpose in this day and age.

“So although the nation’s sellers may find it easier to secure a buyer and for a higher price, they can expect the process itself to drag out for far longer. That’s if the sale doesn’t collapse before it reaches the finish line.”

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