Mortgage market ahead of March last year, more growth expected

The home lending market in the UK has weathered the last year well with the latest industry figures showing that the number of mortgages approved by the main High Street banks is higher than a year ago.

March 2018 was a particularly subdued month for mortgages, according to the data published by trade body UK Finance but numbers have increased in the 12 months since.

In March 2019 approvals for home purchase were 9.3% higher, remortgage approvals were 11.1% higher and approvals for other secured borrowing were 1.7% higher year on year.

Mike Scott, chief property analyst at online estate agent Yopa, said that the figures are good news for the housing market. ‘The mortgage approval number is a leading indicator for the number of house sales later in the year,’ he pointed out.

‘These figures suggest that the number of homes sold will continue to be at least as high as at the same time in 2018 during the second and third quarters of this year,’ he added.

According to John Goodall, chief executive officer of Landbay, believes that it has been a slow start to the year for mortgage lending, and this month doesn’t buck the trend, but he said that while Brexit-led uncertainty doesn’t show signs of abating, there is likely to be growth in the coming months.

‘Many borrowers will be nearing the end of two year mortgage deals secured in the lows of 2017, and they could be in for a rate shock in the coming months. House buyers, be they landlords or not, need to ensure they’re doing their research and looking for the best rates and getting the best advice,’ he pointed out.