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Mortgage approvals fall despite lower rates

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11/03/2013
Mortgage approvals have reached a seven month low after falling for a second consecutive month, data from e.surv has suggested.

The chartered surveyors’ Mortgage Monitor, which analyses mortgage valuations alongside Bank of England data, found lending fell by 11% in February to 49,019 – the lowest level since July last year.

However, high loan-to-value lending accounted for one in eight loans, its highest proportion for a year. The average LTV also climbed to 61.3%

Given the wider availability of cheaper mortgages, E.surv business development director Richard Sexton acknowledged it was difficult to understand why approvals had fallen: “The root cause is difficult to discern: the bad weather at the beginning of the year and a fall in demand for mortgages, rather than a tighter supply may both be factors.

“More would-be buyers are focusing on consolidating and paying off debts, and are reluctant to purchase a new home while their finances are being pillaged by high inflation and record-low savings rates.”

Earlier this month, brokers branded Bank of England figures showing a January drop in mortgage approvals as “bizarre”.

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