Today, the Bank of England said mortgage approvals for house purchase in March fell to 56,200, their lowest level since March 2013.
Simon Gammon, Managing Partner, Knight Frank Finance: “The March data is showing the early effects of the outbreak on mortgage markets that had just a month earlier been at their most active in five years.
“Unless the housing market recovers quickly with the necessary government support, we believe as many as 350,000 mortgages for house purchase, including 150,000 for first-time-buyers might no longer take place this year.
“The scope of potential losses in tax revenue for everything from stamp duty to VAT raised from home renovations underlines how important the housing market is to the wider economy.
“The good news is mortgage lenders that had been in retreat a few weeks ago are starting to look beyond the lockdown. Banks are trying to re-establish their pipeline of new business by raising the loan-to-value ratios they will lend at, increasing the maximum loan sizes for which they will accept remote valuations and re-introducing products they had previously withdrawn.”