Mortgage approvals rise in March
Mortgage activity increased in March on a monthly and annual basis, data from surveyors e.surv showed.
There were 66,614 mortgages approved last month, a 4.2% jump from February and 1.3% increase from the same period last year, according to the firm’s monthly tracker.
The months ahead could hold a further increase in momentum, especially for remortgages, if the Bank of England raised interest rates in May, e.surv predicted.
Director Richard Sexton said: “As talk of a further base rate increase continues to gather momentum, we are seeing many borrowers fix their rate and protect themselves against future rises.
“This has contributed to the growth in the mortgage market compared to last month.”
Small deposit mortgages also made up a significant chuck of the market in March, with these borrowers making up 19.6% of all approvals.
Yorkshire has the most buoyant first-time buyer market, with one in three small deposit mortgages received by borrowers in the region.
But, at the other end of the spectrum, prospective buyers in London are struggling, according to the data.
Borrowers with a large deposit of 60% or more increased significantly month-on-month and made up 34.5% of the market in March 2018.
Sexton added: “We are seeing many existing homeowners – who tend to have more equity in their properties – looking to remortgage.”