Mortgage market ‘steaming ahead’
According to figures released by the Bank of England, 120,000 homeloans were given the green light during what is traditionally a slow month for the mortgage market.
The central bank reported 71,638 loan approvals for house purchase in the month, well above the 65,001 averaged over the previous six months. Remortgage figures remain stable at 34,754 while other loan types numbered 13,340.
Total gross lending secured on dwellings hit £1.7bn in December, above the six month average of £1.1bn.
Ashley Brown, director of Moneysprite, said:
“The mortgage market is quite simply steaming ahead. That the level of house purchase loans in December was even higher than the previous six month average drives home the momentum in the mortgage market.
“You’d normally see a drop-off in December but the demand for property is so strong that this simply didn’t happen. People are more confident and credit is more available, especially for the first-time buyer and those with smaller deposits.”
Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, added:
“We expect this to continue this year as Help to Buy gets into its stride and lending appetite remains strong, with most lenders aiming to do more lending than they did last year.
“Remortgaging numbers continue to rise as borrowers take advantage of rock-bottom mortgage rates, particularly five-year fixes, while the debate rages as to whether the first interest rate rise will come this year.
“While we don’t expect mortgage rates to shoot up in the short term, fixed rates have bottomed out and are starting to climb again so borrowers need to think ahead. However, there is no need to panic just yet; it is still possible to fix for five years at around three per cent, which is incredibly good value.”