Mortgages and Finance

Mortgage Approvals Hit 13 Year High

Property News

The latest figures from the Bank of England show that mortgage approvals in August hit 84.70k against a forecast of 73.00k.

This is the highest monthly figure since October 2007, almost 13 years.

Managing Director of Enness Global Mortgages, Hugh Wade-Jones commented: “Despite a reduction in the availability of high loan-to-value products, we’re yet to see the level of mortgages approvals tail off due to overwhelming levels of buyer demand in recent months. In fact, approvals are at their highest levels in nearly 13 years. Unlucky for some, but certainly not for the nation’s current home buyers and sellers.

Homebuyers at all price tiers are digging deep to come up with a larger deposit to secure a stamp duty saving, and although many lenders may be treading with caution, they continue to make hay while the sun shines.

This trend will continue to be driven forward by the high-end market who have far fewer obstacles in their way when obtaining a mortgage but still recognise that investing now makes good financial sense.”

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “We’ve seen little to no let-up in the volume of homebuyers hitting the market despite a tightening of finance options available.

Where they may have been traditionally buying with a 15% to 20% deposit, they’re now stretching to as much as 30%. They are doing so to not only to take advantage of the favourable rates currently on offer but to secure a stamp duty saving in the process.

Since the stamp duty holiday was announced, the number of mortgage approvals seen on a monthly basis has more than doubled, and so the boost it has given the market can not be underestimated.”

Founder and CEO of Yes Homebuyers, Matthew Cooper, commented: “Great news on the face of it and figures that portray a very healthy market. However, it’s probably a little too soon to pop the champagne and wave goodbye to any detrimental pandemic induced market declines.

Current approvals figures may well be skewed by sales agreed prior to the pandemic hitting the market and with the furlough scheme soon to end, it’s unlikely this level of momentum will be maintained in the long-term.

For the time being, this honeymoon period of mortgage approvals and house price growth will help boost market sentiment. But we could soon find ourselves in a very different place over the coming months.”

Hina Bhudia, Partner, Knight Frank Finance says: “The pandemic has completely upended what is usually the one of the quietest months of the year for the property market.

“Interest rates remain ultra-low and the cheap cost of debt is driving a significant amount of this activity.

“Most of the activity we’re seeing is at sub 75% loan-to-value and the lenders all want a bigger slice of that market. That means the choice of products for borrowers at that level is growing every day.

“The surge in transactions at that level also means turnaround times between submitting an application and getting approval varies hugely from lender to lender so borrowers should check carefully before proceeding.

“Remortgaging remains subdued as many borrowers choose to play it safe, often sticking with their existing bank and avoiding taking on more debt, particularly when so many consumers’ incomes have been affected.”

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