TThere was a modest dip in the number of home loans approved for both house purchase and remortgaging in July, according to the latest Bank of England figures.
Their figures show that home loans worth a total of £20.8bn were approved in July. This accounts for £12.1bn for house purchases, down from £12.2bn the month before. This though remains above the previous six-month average of £11.9bn.
The figures show a more significant decline in remortgage activity in July. A total of £8bn was approved for remortgaging, a decline on the £8.6bn approved in June. This is below the previous six-month average of £8.4bn.
This Bank of England data also reveals that the total outstanding mortgage debt in the UK stood at £1.3tn in July, an increase of 0.2 per cent on the previous month and a 3.2 per cent increase year-on-year.
Former RICS chairman and north London estate agent Jeremy Leaf says: “These figures are a little disappointing in that they reflect a period when we would have expected a pick-up in the market over the spring buying season.
“Buyers and sellers are still engaged in a stand-off, and a lack of energised demand has meant there is often very little urgency to complete deals, even when terms have been agreed.”
PRIMIS and PTFS proposition director Vikki Jefferies says: “It’s no surprise to see that mortgage lending has experienced a dip this month as the effect of the Bank of England’s August rate rise won’t kick in until September, especially when it comes to remortgages.
“However, even though some borrowers may be tempted to take action before rates rise again, the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit has made many customers nervous.”
OneSavings Bank sales and marketing director John Eastgate adds: “Buyer activity remains pretty depressed as the market comes to terms with economic uncertainty on top of existing obstacles of a lack of supply and increasing affordability challenges.
“With heightened fears that a turbulent Brexit and a slower economy might impact job security and property prices, consumers are naturally putting the brakes on home buying decisions.”