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Mortgage lending stable in November: BoE

Data from the latest report from the Bank of England, shows that the mortgage market’s stability seen since 2016 continued into November 2018.

Households borrowed £3.5bn against their homes back in November, slightly lower than the previous month’s total of £4.1bn. This is in line with the average amount since 2016, £3.6bn per month, the bank reports.

The annual growth rate of mortgage lending was measured at 3.2 per cent in November, with the recorded average at 3 per cent since 2016.

Furthermore, the quantity of approved mortgages for house purchase fell to 63,700 in November, although the number of approvals for remortgaging remained largely unchanged, standing at 48,600.

In total, the report says, £22.bn was lent in November, down slightly from the £22.7bn registered in October.

Legal and General Mortgage Club director Kevin Roberts says: “We’re into the new year, but with political uncertainty and the potential for a further interest rate rise in the near future, there is plenty keeping commentators hesitant about the housing market in 2019.

“However, the mortgage market actually shows a positive outlook. Despite the Brexit deadline looming, growing flexibility and choice continues to attract borrowers looking for a good deal.”

Anderson Harris director of mortgage broker Jonathan Harris adds: “Given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit that was raging during November, these figures are fairly encouraging as they show a market that is flat at best, rather than in sharp decline.

“Mortgage approvals may be well down compared with the pre-crisis period but on the positive side we have moved away from boom and bust towards a more settled situation.

“With interest rates unlikely to rise anytime soon, mortgage products remain competitive and this is likely to continue into the first quarter of 2019 as Brexit negotiations trundle along.”

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf comments: “The mortgage approval figures, though a little historic, do nevertheless demonstrate some continuing resilience in the market, even at a time of huge political turmoil.

“However, we remain stuck in a price-sensitive, needs-driven environment, especially at this time of year, showing again a larger correction is unlikely while prices are supported by very low mortgage and unemployment rates, as well as improving affordability and stock shortages.

“On the ground, we are finding that one small positive is the re-emergence of some first-time buyers. They are no longer up against investors who are still suffering from recent tax and regulatory changes so are able to compete more effectively for the smaller properties in lower price ranges.”

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