Mortgage approvals dip in January

Mortgage approvals dipped in January compared to a strong December, e.surv’s Mortgage Monitor has found.

There were 66,002 residential mortgages approved in the first month of the decade, down 1.8% from December.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “While the market fell slightly following the December bump, rumours of a Bank of England base rate cut appear to have had little appreciable impact on the mortgage market, with a strong performance among several key buyer groups in January.

“Existing homeowners benefited from low remortgage rates and were persuaded to switch to a new deal, while new buyers also swooped to seal low interest rates for their first purchase.

“The new Chancellor is due to present the government’s Spring Budget in March – the first opportunity for the Johnson government to lay out its spending plans.

“Homeowners, lenders, housebuilders, and anyone else with a stake in the UK housing market, will be watching with interest.”

Remortgage activity was strong, with small deposit-borrowers increasing its market share from 25.5% to 26.7%.

Sexton added: “January saw an increase in approvals for small deposit buyers – typically an indication that more first-time buyers have made their first step onto the property ladder.”