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Mortgage approvals hit four month high

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Mortgage approvals increased in October to their highest point in four months, building on an uplift in property transactions according to the latest figures from UK Finance.

Key highlights:

  • Gross mortgage lending across the residential market in October was £25.5bn, some 5.6 per cent higher than last October.
  • The number of mortgages approved by the main high street banks in October was 4.1 per cent lower than last October; although approvals for house purchase were 3.6 per cent higher, remortgage approvals were 13.5 per cent lower and approvals for other secured borrowing were 1.3 per cent lower.
  • The £11.3bn of credit card spending in October was 12.1 per cent higher than last October. Over the past twelve months, the outstanding level of credit card borrowing grew by 5.7 per cent. Personal borrowing through loans and overdrafts grew by 2.3 per cent in the year to October.
  • Personal deposits in total grew by 0.8 per cent over the past twelve months. Deposits held in instant access accounts were 2.6 per cent higher than last October.

Commenting on the data, Eric Leenders, Managing Director, Personal Finance at UK Finance, said:

“Overall mortgage lending grew in October, despite an uncertain economic environment, while house purchase mortgage approvals by the main high street banks were also up on the previous year.

“However remortgaging activity has softened, following a period of strong growth driven by fixed rate loans reaching maturity and anticipation of August’s base rate rise.

“Households are taking a measured approach to credit, with repayments on credit cards broadly in line with spending.

“This reflects the growing preference of customers to use their credit cards as a means of payment rather than a borrowing mechanism, making the most of additional consumer protections and value-added benefits.”

Andy Soloman, Business Growth Expert and CEO of Yomdel.com, commented: 

“Yet another welcomed surprise for the UK housing market with this latest uplift pushing the level of mortgage approvals to its highest point since June.

This demonstrates yet further signs of confidence in the market when coupled with last week’s positive movement in transaction levels and is hardly surprising given the continued affordability of mortgage products available.

It would seem that, like many of us, UK buyers and sellers have had enough of hearing about Brexit as this growing market momentum defies wider economic and political uncertainty.

However, we are currently entering the eye of the storm with a Brexit deal almost over the line, so it will be interesting to see how this translates to buyer appetite as the year comes to a close.”




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