Mortgage approvals up in December says BoE
Mon 01 Feb 2016
The latest Bank of England Money and Credit report has found that the number of mortgage approvals during December stood at 70,837 - slightly higher than November's figure of 70,410 and the average of 69,462 over the previous six months.
The report also revealed that net mortgage lending dropped from 3.9bn in November to 3.2bn in December.The number of approvals for remortgaging rose to 41,708 from 39,161 in November and the average of 39,540over the previous six months.
Total lending to individuals increased by 4.4bn in December, compared to 5.3bn in November and 4.6 billionover the previous six months.
Peter Rollings , CEO of Marsh & Parsons, comments: Mortgage lending in December reflected some of therejuvenated confidence radiating from buyers. After the Autumn Statement extensions to Help to Buy, and therock-bottom base rate lasting out the year, first-time buyers were feeling decisive, and this was mirrored by aclear upswing in house purchase approvals from November to December. This energy has definitely been carriedover into 2016, and January has already seen an impressive influx of motivated buyers, eager to progress up theproperty ladder.
2015 was also the year of remortgaging for many existing homeowners and this momentum is showing no signsof dissipating while cheaper fixed-rate mortgages remain available. But in coming months, we can expect strongbuy-to-let lending, as the April introduction of higher stamp duty for second homes gives a new sense of urgencyfor those looking to invest in property or expand their existing portfolio.
Richard Pike , Phoebus Software sales and marketing manager, says Well its official, the 2015 mortgagemarket finished on a high with lending in the month above the six month average in every aspect.
The figures for remortgages show that this area, which has been sluggish, was boosted probably by the rash ofdeals on offer at the end of the year. Whether that will continue in the new year is the next question. Althoughrates are not all important for every client when it comes to remortgaging then rate is usually the driver. As for therest of the market, the rush to complete on buy-to-let or second home mortgages before the end of March is likelyto push numbers up and give us further growth in the first quarter.
Brian Murphy , Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), said: Mortgage approvals reached a neartwo-year high in December, rounding off a successful year for borrowers. Existing homeowners were thefront runners in this growth, with the number of remortgage approvals rising by more than a quarter sinceDecember 2014.
Borrowers benefited from rock-bottom mortgage rates throughout 2015, and our data shows that rates continuedto fall across all fixed rate products in December. Growing numbers of homeowners are wising up to the fact thatit pays to remortgage, particularly if moving from a poor value standard variable rate. Borrowers who arecomfortable with a long-term commitment can take advantage of todays rates by locking into a fixed product,avoiding higher mortgage bills when an interest rate rise eventually kicks in.
For those who do not have the comfort of already sitting on the property ladder and are looking to buy for the firsttime, the outlook is still positive. Although not quite up to pre-recession levels, mortgage approvals for housepurchase have improved markedly in recent years and lenders are battling for business. However, with houseprices continuing to rise, affordability remains a concern, and todays low mortgage rates arent a permanentfixture of the market.