Mortgage lending up in October: UK Finance

Latest data from UK Finance shows that gross mortgage lending grew in October on both a yearly and monthly basis.

In total, lending within the residential market reached £25.5bn in October, a growth rate of 5.6 per cent when measured annually.

Lending stood at £21.2bn in September 2018, meaning that on a monthly basis, the figure increased by over 20 per cent.

In terms of the number of approvals, there were 45,289 counted in October, up 3.6 per cent from the 43,706 approvals given last year, and on a monthly basis, up by 21.2 per cent when compared to the 37,348 approvals recorded in September.

The data also shows that there were 33,505 remortgages in October, down 13.5 per cent from the 38,746 recorded last year, but up nearly 21 per cent when compared to last month’s figure of 27,676.

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf comments: “When you drill down into these figures, the most important part is mortgage approvals for house purchases… this may be a little better than many expected but confirms what we have seen on the ground – that some sellers are taking a reality check and recognising that the difference between sale price and purchase price is much more important than the headline figure.”

SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris adds: “Clearly those who need to get on with moving are doing so regardless [of the uncertainty powered by Brexit].

“Over the past six weeks, swap rates have been trending downwards. The question is: will we see a lender fire sale as they target completions before year end as the cost of funding is cheaper?”

Yopa chief property analyst Mike Scott says: “Remortgages have little effect on the wider housing market, so the increase in the number of house purchases is good news, and confirms similar figures for increasing house sales released earlier this month by HMRC.

“The breakdown of these mortgages by type of buyer will not be available until next month, but we expect that the first-time buyer sector continues to perform well, with a recovery in the number of homemover mortgages but a continued downturn in the buy-to-let market driven by unfavourable tax changes.”

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