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Mortgage sales down 16% in April, says Equifax

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Mortgage sales for the UK fell by £2.62bn in April to £13.76bn, down 16 per cent on the previous month, according to Equifax Touchstone.

The firm’s analysis of the intermediary marketplace showed residential lending fell 15.1 per cent to £11.6bn and buy-to-let figures fell 20.4 per cent to £21.15bn.

Equifax Touchstone director John Driscoll says: “Mortgage figures have nosedived following a strong first quarter, with every single region experiencing a notable slump in sales.

“Government measures to cool buy-to-let property sales, including the phased cuts to mortgage interest tax relief which started on 1 April, have no doubt played a role in diminishing sales figures last month.”

Driscoll adds that Government intervention and the upcoming general election could cause more market volatility in the coming months.

He says: “The big question is where figures will go from here – this time of year is traditionally fairly buoyant for house-buying, but there may be too much uncertainty on the horizon to see an immediate rebound.”

The average residential mortgage was worth £198,347 in April, compared to £192,255 in the same month of 2016.

The average buy-to-let mortgage value last month was £153,900, compared to £158,335 in the previous April.

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