Approval numbers rise for house purchases and remortgages

Approval numbers rise for house purchases and remortgages
Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Mortgage approvals for house purchases increased from 56,100 in January to 60,400 in February, said the Bank of England.

This was the highest level of approvals for purchases since September 2022.

Net approvals for remortgaging also increased from 30,900 to 37,700 during the same period.

Individuals borrowed £1.5bn of mortgage debt in February, compared to £1.1bn in January – the highest borrowing levels since January 2023.

Despite the rise, the annual growth rate for net mortgage lending continued to be slightly negative at minus 0.1%, according to the Bank of England.

Gross lending rose from £17.1bn in January to £18bn in February.

Expert analysis

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “This snapshot gives further hope that the pernicious effects of high interest rates on the economy are beginning to lighten, with mortgage approvals being sent to a 17-month high in February.

“Expectations have shifted higher again that the recession is in the rear-view mirror, given that homebuyers clearly feel more confident, which is likely to play out in spending elsewhere in the economy.”

Rosie Hooper, chartered financial planner at Quilter Cheviot, added: “There is likely pent-up demand in the market due to many buyers opting to sit on their hands as they wait for a more stable purchasing environment, and this spring might see many of these buyers return to the market.

“Overall, these developments indicate a positive momentum in the housing market, driven by improved borrower conditions and a stabilising interest rate landscape.”

Related: Average UK house prices are now 8.3 times income