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Size of mortgages for purchase slump 11% in London: MAB

The size of the average mortgage for house purchase in London dropped by 11 per cent to £317,595 in January compared to £281,937 a year earlier, figures from Mortgage Advice Bureau show.

The biggest drop in the average value of loans for property purchase was in the capital, while at the opposite end of the scale in the East of England this figure jumped by nearly 23 per cent from £138,819 to £170,322 over the same time frame.

Other regions saw single-digit fluctuations in the average value of purchase home loans year on year, according to the broker’s sales data.

The broker found there had been little change in average loan-to-values, mortgage applicant ages, or borrower salaries in either the purchase or remortgage market.

MAB head of lending Brian Murphy says: “With values increasing slightly on a monthly basis in Wales, Scotland, the North East and East of England, and reports across our network of a busy month with buyer enquiries, we would suggest that there is plenty of steam left in the market in parts of the country, albeit that other areas are perhaps seeing some potential movers taking the ‘wait and see’ approach until there is more clarity around the current political situation.

“This has led to reports of shortages of stock in some areas, as vendors who would like to move are also holding on until such time as the market in their area improves, providing a degree of insulation for values even where there are fewer buyers who are currently active.”

He adds: “Overall, it would seem that pent-up demand is building in many areas, due to the number of well-intentioned buyers and sellers who had hoped that the political uncertainty would have abated by now.

“Therefore, whilst market sentiment may be one of caution in some areas for the short-term, the mid to longer-term view could well be more optimistic once we have a Brexit denouement.”

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