View more on these topics

Mortgage approvals fall by 10,000

House purchase approvals dropped markedly in January by over 10,000 to fall to 35,083, according to the latest figures from the British Bankers’ Association.

The BBA statistics, which record lending levels for the main high street banks, show that the number of January house purchase approvals was down from 45,650 in December and was also down against the average of 42,582 approvals over the last six months.

Approvals in January plummeted after being boosted in December ahead of the removal of the Stamp Duty holiday.

The BBA says the drop in approvals may also reflect January’s bad weather.

Remortgage approvals for January also fell to 20,252, from 23,609 in December and remains below the previous six-month average of 23,451.

Gross mortgage lending weakened in January to £8bn from £10.9bn the previous month.

David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA, says: “After the Christmas period demand for consumer credit was weaker in January, as consumers shiedaway, or were discouraged by the weather, from retail spending and held on to their deposits.

“The total amount lent to non-financial companies of £340bn continues to contract, as demand for finance remains subdued and trading conditions are still adversely impacting on business sentiment.”

Andrew Montlake, director of brokerage Coreco, says he expects to see stronger figures for February before lending tails off again towards the second half of the year.

He says: “Many consumers have put their lives on hold for two years and increasingly seem to have decided that now is the time to make that move, or hedge against future rate rises.

“As competition has seeped slowly back into the market, lenders are being forced to look beyond the 60% LTV and below market, which is now saturated.

“They are starting to venture into higher LTVs and are even returning tentatively to the buy-to-let arena in search of higher margins.”

But he adds: “Let’s not be under any illusions here, the mortgage market, like the economy, is still in the early stages of recovery and could be set off course by any number of external factors.”

Recommended

Leeds reports £31.7m pre-tax profit

Leeds Building Society, the UK’s sixth largest society, has reported a pre-tax profit of £31.7m for 2009, up from £20.3m in 2008 – a 56% increase.

Rates for 90% LTV deals are down by almost 2%

The average rate for mortgage deals up to 90% LTV has fallen by almost 2% in the past three months, according to Evaluate Technologies. The average rate has gone from 7% in November to 5.3%.

Guide cover

Guide: Johnson Fleming produces auto-enrolment checklist

For a job as big as managing the auto-enrolment changes, it’s important to know what has been completed and what still lies in front of you to give you the reassurance that everything is in hand. Getting the planning and project management right at the outset can help you see the path ahead and ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. To help with this, Johnson Fleming has produced a checklist outlining every step that needs to be taken when preparing for auto-enrolment.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up
Comments
  • Post a comment
  • Bobby 23rd February 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Its looking more and more like the clever brokers were the ones that got out 2 years ago not the ones hanging on and getting into massive debt in the hope it will change. We get platitudes from trade magazines saying ” you will proser when it gets better ” but will it ?. The FSA and lenders want brokers eradictaed from the marketplace. The FSA want half a dozen big banks and a non advised, execution only tick box marketplace that takes any responsilbility from them or the Banks. Its much easier to regulate and the banks have everything in house to flog all the insurances and pay no proc fees. That is the marketplace we will have in 2012 make no mistake. The lenders like Abbey and their insulting e mail to brokers about fast track and the FSA’s aggresive and direspectful attitude to brokers shows the future. Also if lenders are responsible for the mortgage post 2012 why have brokers anymore ?. The FSA impose stringent and time wasting form filing to brokers which serves no purpose to anyone except to justify their jobs and let Banks the biggest culprits of the credit crunch and complaints get away with no compliance. The whole thing stinks and is corrupt. The FSA let the greatest crash since 1929 occur on their watch and then award themselves with big bonuses and then go after the broker who has no trade body to support them. Hector Sants is then seen sailing into the sunset no doubt with a big pay off with the FSA saying what a great job he has done whilst sipping the FSA embossed bottled water. You couldn’t make it up !.

  • Martin Jackson 23rd February 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Bobby wrote; “Something has to give and very soon otherwise there will be no mortgage brokers left trading by the end of 2010”

    Sorry to tell you Bobby, but that is just what they want. My view is that mortgage regulation was always a conspiracy by lenders, FSA and government to kill off the intermediary.

    I remember comments on this site and in the magazine by intermediaries pre 2004 saying such things as “we must embrace regulation” and “regulation will be the best thing that could happen to us” and many many more naive observations.

    Well, eat those words; high costs of registration, increasing costs and decreasing revenues, networks going bust taking much needed income from brokers and the FSA doing nothing to protect that income, high handed policing of brokers and not of banks &lenders, brokers losing their independence etc. etc.

    Oh, and by the way, there’s the important point of lenders charging huge fees, mostly what they want and paying intermediaries a pittance, to be sure they will drive you and me out, that’s exactly what they want…..

  • Jon 23rd February 2010 at 12:51 pm

    With rents as low as they are it is not surprising that many FTBs are choosing to rent instead. In some ways the success of BTL and the effect it has had on forcing down rents (combined with the large deposits FTBs now need) has encouraged many potential purchasers to rent instead. I expect the market to be flat for some time.

  • Martin Jackson 23rd February 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Bobby wrote; “Something has to give and very soon otherwise there will be no mortgage brokers left trading by the end of 2010”

    Sorry to tell you Bobby, but that is just what they want. My view is that mortgage regulation was always a conspiracy by lenders, FSA and government to kill off the intermediary.

    I remember comments on this site and in the magazine by intermediaries pre 2004 saying such things as “we must embrace regulation” and “regulation will be the best thing that could happen to us” and many many more naive observations.

    Well, eat those words; high costs of registration, increasing costs and decreasing revenues, networks going bust taking much needed income from brokers and the FSA doing nothing to protect that income, high handed policing of brokers and not of banks &lenders, brokers losing their independence etc. etc.

    Oh, and by the way, there’s the important point of lenders charging huge fees, mostly what they want and paying intermediaries a pittance, to be sure they will drive you and me out, that’s exactly what they want…..

  • Bobby 23rd February 2010 at 11:42 am

    These figures are off the wall bad. Bearing in mind until 2007 mortgage averaged close to 200k a month with 100k new mortgages and up to 100k re mortgages so now its down to 55000 combined. After the worst 2 years in living memory for brokers 2010 has started even worse !. Something has to give and very soon otherwise there will be no mortgage brokers left trading by the end of 2010.

  • Salil Chaudhari 23rd February 2010 at 10:40 am

    In retrospect removal of SDLT concession was a mistake. Absence of details about how to tackle the UK huge deficit could result in irrepairable damage to the economy.Also lenders’ are charging what they like regardless of BBR,LIBOR and swap rates which have been at the lower end recently.This, together with the disagreements between the worlds top around 80 economists as to how to tackle UK’s economic problems just shows the degree of uncertainty out there and the extent of the mess we are in.I think this obscurity will last another years before we see signs of how effective government policies have been and whether it would have been better for the government not to have intervened in free markets.

  • Martin Jackson 23rd February 2010 at 10:36 am

    Vince Cable!! oh yes, that’s just what we need right now, a bunch of sit on the fence wishy- washy liberals. What this country needs is a radical, neah, revolutionary government that will put the hard working people of this country first!

  • Paul Silcox 23rd February 2010 at 10:36 am

    Sorry William, if Vince was a doctor, he would have been struck off. Correct diagnosis but wrong treatment. The people running the (sh1t) show are like children; we need some adults in the room, but alas we won’t get any grown-up decision-making until after the election. One thing is for sure though, stimulus measures have failed and the gov can’t stimulate any more. I fear it is time to pay the piper, and this time he wants payment in full.

  • Martin Jackson 23rd February 2010 at 10:36 am

    Vince Cable!! oh yes, that’s just what we need right now, a bunch of sit on the fence wishy- washy liberals. What this country needs is a radical, neah, revolutionary government that will put the hard working people of this country first!

  • Martin Jackson 23rd February 2010 at 10:31 am

    Fewar brokers + fewer lenders + increased regulation + increased costs = less choice and a reduction in lending – doh to the FSA!

  • William Kingsley 23rd February 2010 at 10:10 am

    The snow didn’t help but it just shows what happens when you get a Govt that tries to help by tinkering with the free market – when the freebies finish business dies for a while. It would have been better to make a permanent decision than a temporary one on things like SDLT and VAT – the people running the country are amateurs and there are no viable alternatives other than Vince Cable who won’t get a chance to show his worth.