The latest analysis of mortgage market data by specialist property lending experts, Octane Capital, has revealed that while an air of stability may have returned to the housing market in 2023, mortgage approvals continued to fall, down -4.6% quarter to quarter.
Octane Capital analysed the most recent quarterly Bank of England mortgage approval data – covering the number of approvals and combined monetary value of these approvals – to see how recent economic turmoil is impacting the housing market.
The analysis shows that there were some 136,023 mortgages approved during the first quarter of 2023.
This marked a -4.6% decline when compared to the final of 2022, albeit a slower quarterly rate of decline than that seen following September’s disastrous mini budget, when approval numbers fell by a huge -29.2% between Q3 and Q4 of 2022.
The total level of mortgage approvals seen in Q1 of this year also remained some -36.3% lower when compared to the first quarter of 2022.
It’s a similar story where the total sum lent is concerned. Having fallen by -34% between Q3 and Q4 of last year, the £29.4bn lent in Q1 of this year was also some -6.7% below the final quarter of 2022 and 41.5% down year on year.
As a result, the average sum lent to the nation’s homebuyers sat at £216,147 during the first quarter of this year. A -2.2% quarterly drop and -8.1% down when compared to Q1, 2022.
CEO of Octane Capital, Jonathan Samuels said, “While the property market had been showing gradual signs of cooling over the last year, this certainly culminated with a significant reduction in market activity following September’s shambolic mini budget as mortgage approval levels dipped by almost a third in a single quarter.
“Unfortunately, while stability may have returned to some degree, the level of buyer activity seen during the open stages of this year is yet to rebound and we’ve seen a further, albeit far more marginal, reduction in approval numbers.
“With the Bank of England choosing to increase interest rates for a 12th consecutive time this month, it’s unlikely that we will see any notable uplift anytime soon and while we don’t anticipate a market collapse, the result is likely to be a far more subdued outlook for the year ahead.”