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Mortgage market on hold in January, with a marginal drop in lending recorded

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Buyers may be waiting to see what happens with Brexit, but could they be missing their best buying opportunity?
Mortgage market on hold in January, with a marginal drop in lending recorded

Mortgage borrowing fell slightly in January to £3.7 billion, according to the Bank of England, and was below the £3.9 billion average of the past six months.

Mortgage approvals for house purchase (an indicator of future lending) increased in January to 66,800, slightly above the average of the previous six months of 65,500. Approvals for remortgaging ticked-up to 50,400, marginally higher that the recent average of 48,900.

Andrew Montlake, director of the mortgage broker, Coreco, said: “Many prospective buyers are waiting for more certainty but ironically it’s the current uncertainty that is strengthening their hands.

“They are waiting for a window of opportunity and may be disappointed when they discover that this was it.

“The mortgage market is being driven by remortgages and first time buyers, who are benefiting from Help to Buy, reduced landlord competition, a strong jobs market and the Bank of Mum and Dad.

“For first time buyers, in particular, now is a perfect time to buy, something that is almost certainly underlined by the rise in approvals for house purchase in January.

“While it’s a buyers’ market at present, that could change almost overnight in the event that a deal is struck with Brussels.”

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