mortgage approvals
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The number of mortgage approvals made to home-buyers jumped to a five-month high in June, Bank of England figures show.

Some 65,619 mortgages got the green light for house purchase – the highest monthly total since January.

Re-mortgage approvals fell by 7.3% month on month, with 47,895 loans approved in June.

Despite the drop-off, the Bank said “re-mortgaging approvals remain broadly in line with the average over 2018 so far”.

The figures were released as a separate report from estate agents found that the number of house sales taking place edged up in June – although transaction numbers were still lower than a year earlier.

The average number of sales agreed per estate agency branch increased from eight in May to nine in June, NAEA Propertymark said.

In June last year there had been an average of 11 sales agreed per estate agency branch.

It also said that the proportion of sales made to first-time buyers increased to 29% in June this year – the highest proportion recorded since February.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “We have seen a rise in the number of sales which is typical of this time of year as buyers and sellers seek to complete their property transactions ahead of the quieter holiday period.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: “We are certainly not seeing any fireworks on the high street but more activity away from the centre of London, in particular, which is offering better value for money.”

He continued: “Looking forward, there is no great expectation of radical change as we move into the traditionally quieter summer period, although we do anticipate the usual upturn in September/October, particularly if the outlook for Brexit is more settled.”

The Bank of England’s Money and Credit report also said that, excluding mortgages, households’ annual growth in borrowing “remained stable” at 8.8% in June.

It said: “Credit cards have been accounting for an increasing share of consumer credit growth over the past couple of years and the growth rate of credit card lending has exceeded that of other loans and advances (which includes personal loans, overdrafts and car finance) since January 2018.”

Annual credit card growth stood at 9.5% in June, compared with 8.5% annual growth in other loans and advances.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the continued strength in non-mortgage borrowing “is symptomatic of the pressure on consumers’ finances, rather than rising confidence about the outlook for their incomes”.

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

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