Mortgage approvals grow in August: BoE

Figures from the Bank of England show that both the number and value of mortgage approvals increased in August.

In total, mortgages worth £22.6bn were approved, up from the £20.9bn figure seen last month.

The number approved for house purchases grew from 65,156 in July to 66,440 in August, a modest rise from £12.3bn to £12.5bn worth.

For remortgages, meanwhile, approvals increased from 44,795 to 53,125 – from £8bn to £9.3bn.

The statistics also detail that UK households borrowed an extra £2.9bn against their property in August – down from £3bn in July and the lowest monthly secured net lending total since July 2016. The annual growth rate is now at 3.1 per cent, down from the 3.2 per cent seen last month.

OneSavings Bank sales and marketing director John Eastgate says: “Brexit and its possible consequences hang over every aspect of our economy. These numbers come shortly after drastic falls in house prices were forecast in the event of a no deal scenario and more broadly, the general discord in government can serve only to further challenge the already depressed levels of consumer confidence, especially when it comes to personal finances.

“Calls to stimulate housing demand through, for example stamp duty reforms, represent a well-intentioned attempt to stimulate activity however until we have some certainty about our post-Brexit position, such attempts risk only further complication of the UK’s already complex position in respect of housing policy.”

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