Mortgage approvals at an 18-month low: Bank of England


Mortgage approvals by banks and building societies are at an 18-month low, according to Bank of England figures.

In July 60,912 homeloans were approved, down from 64,152 approvals in June and the lowest since January 2015.

Lenders extended £10.4bn for house buying in July, down from £11.1bn in June.

July 2016 also saw 12.4 per cent fewer approvals year-on-year.

Hope Capital chief executive Jonathan Sealey says: “The number of loan approvals for house purchase was lower than the previous six month average, suggesting that many buyers have been waiting to see how Brexit will affect house prices and the market in general.

“In contrast and unsurprisingly, remortgaging is up, highlighting how an increasing number of homeowners are continuing to take full advantage of falling mortgage rates and I expect to see a more ‘normal’ market to emerge in September.”

SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “Mortgage lending in July was at an 18-month low, showing a significant decline compared with June. However, July and August are always traditionally quieter times of the year for the market; the real test will come in September when people get back from holiday.

“Then we will see whether they are making decisions to buy or whether they put these on hold until there is further clarity.”

Estate agent and former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf says: “Although it is early days, it appears the market is settling down and proving more resilient than many people have given it credit for. We are certainly finding this at the coalface with strong determination being shown by genuine buyers and sellers who are aiming to find a fair price between them so that they can move on.

“Looking forward, we are quite hopeful that as more people return from holidays the traditionally busier autumn season will live up to expectations.”