Mortgage approvals hit 8-month high in November: BoE

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UK mortgage approvals rose to an eight-month high in November, according to the latest Bank of England lending statistics.

The number of approvals rose 0.19 per cent to 67,505 in November from 67,371 in October.

This makes November approval levels the highest since March 2016, when approvals totaled 70,076.

However, it was below the Bank’s predicted level of 68,500.

Anderson Harris director Jonathan Harris says: “It was steady as she goes for the mortgage market in November, with the number of loan approvals for house purchases and remortgaging both slightly higher than the six-month average.

“While confidence is a little uncertain given potential economic headwinds such as the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, cheap mortgage rates are proving attractive and those who have to get on with the job of moving are continuing to do so.

“Lenders are keen to get off on the right foot this year with a number offering incentives such as cash back to entice borrowers, rather than cutting rates yet again and squeezing wafer-thin margins further.”

Estate agent and former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf says: “Mortgage approval numbers are encouraging as they are reflecting resilience in the market in the autumn following the referendum vote but it remains to be seen whether or not these approvals translate into advances in the new year, which is what we are finding on the ground. It is a positive start to the new year.

“Certainly if the construction figures translate into more supply then that will clearly be encouraging for the market as demand remains healthy irrespective of they many political and economic distractions.”