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Royal Wedding and Bank Holidays cause purchase and remortgage numbers to slump in April

The number of loans secured for both purchase and remortgages fell heavily in April to a four month low.

The Bank of England’s lending to individuals figures for April show the number of loans for house purchase fell from 47,145 in March to 45,166 in April, which was even lower than the 45,878 recorded in January.

Remortgages fell from 31,201 in March to 28,091 in April, which was considerably down on the 33,179 recorded in January.

But Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, says that with the raft of Bank Holidays in April, along with the Royal Wedding, it was inevitable that data for the month would be skewed.

He says: “The nation went on holiday, so an overall drop in the number of loan approvals and remortgages comes as no surprise.

“During May, activity bounced back and returned to the steady growth trajectory of February and March, albeit one that is naturally still at historically low levels.”

He adds: “The ongoing drop in the number of remortgages reflects how people increasingly believe that an interest rate rise is unlikely in the short-term and that, if one does come, rates overall will remain very low for the foreseeable future.”

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  • Tim Hague 1st June 2011 at 11:50 am

    There is a mismatch here… It may well be true that Bank Holidays and the Royal Wedding will have deferred decisions for customers but, as Brian says, we are likely to see that reflected in figures in the coming months.

    The concern here is that lending in April reflects enquiries and applications levels in January, February and March. So in real terms, the market is down. And that has nothing to do with trumped up excuses by the CML about Bank Holidays or the Royal Wedding at all.