Thursday, 17 August 2017

Mortgages are on the way up

THE latest figures provide more evidence of growing activity in the UK’s residential property market — with mortgage approvals up

THE latest figures provide more evidence of growing activity in the UK’s residential property market — with mortgage approvals up 40 per cent.

A total of 42,990 mortgages were approved in September, the British Bankers Association (BBA) data showed.

It is the highest monthly figure since December 2009, although the BBA pointed out it is still considerably below the highs seen at the end of 2006 when approvals totalled 78,117.

September’s figure also marks a 10 per cent rise from August, when 38,834 mortgages were approved, lending weight to the growing momentum building around the residential property market as a whole. And having risen to £9.7 billion in September, the level of mortgage lending was around 11 per cent higher than the six-month average.

Remortgaging hit its highest level in almost two years — October 2011 was the last time it was higher — as more homeowners took advantage of a growing number of mortgage deals on the market.

Government schemes like Help to Buy have been credited with adding a new impetus to the market and encouraging a greater numbers of buyers to embark on a property search.

However, in something of a double-edged sword, the growth figures will also add to fears that the housing market is growing too fast and is in danger of developing another unsustainable bubble.

Average property prices in England and Wales have now broken through the £250,000 barrier, according to recent research by property website Rightmove, and the average asking price in London is said to have gone well beyond double that figure.

Nevertheless there appears to have been a positive reaction from consumers to the latest developments.The BBA’s figures also show there was an increase in net credit card lending of £100m, while net loan and overdraft borrowing went up by £200m.

“September’s figures build on the growing picture of improved consumer confidence, with stronger gross mortgage lending, rising house purchase approvals and increased consumer credit,” said BBA director of statistics, David Dooks.

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