Mortgage approvals continue to fall
Mortgage approvals slipped again in April, continuing the falls from the first three months of 2018, according to the Bank of England.
The bank’s data showed that the overall number of mortgage approvals fell 1.7% in April to 121,600, with house purchase loans down 0.5% at 62,455 and remortgaging approvals down 1.6% at 46,189.
Since January, the number of monthly mortgage approvals has fallen by 5.9% from 129,160 – with both purchases and remortgages suffering.
Lending volume data was more encouraging, with gross lending rising to £22.8bn in April, up from £22bn in February and march and just topping the £22.7bn in January.
Bluestone Mortgages director of sales and marketing Steve Seal suggested the much hinted but ultimately unfulfilled rise in base rate may have put house buyers off during the early part of the year.
Legal & General Mortgage Club head of lender relationships Danny Belton was slightly more upbeat, saying: “Although largely unchanged, mortgage approvals remain steady, with consumers looking to benefit from near all-time low rates and competitive products.”