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Mortgage lending hit £28.4bn in May

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Lending figures remain above pre-pandemic levels but approvals data suggests the heat is starting to come out of the market

Mortgage lending in May increased to £28.4 billion from £26.7 billion in April, said the Bank of England.

However, mortgage approvals, which reflect future borrowing ticked up very slightly from 66,000 in April to 66,200 in May – slightly below the pre-pandemic average of 66,700.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Mortgage approvals are a useful measure of the health of the property market, because they show just how keen buyers are right now. The fact that approvals are still below the pre-pandemic average in May is perhaps another sign of the heat coming out of the market.”

Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker, Coreco, said his experience was that the market was still very busy: “May was a crazily busy month on the mortgage front and this data underlines that,” he explained.

“The mortgage approvals data also shows that people are still actively borrowing, even amid the cost of living crisis. A lot of people want to buy before rates rise even further and the FOMO on the rates currently available is incentivising a lot of people to take action. Rates are rising at a rate of knots and people are getting in while they can, and fixing for as long as they can, whether through a house purchase or a remortgage.”