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November lending rose, as mortgage rates fell to record lows

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Overall lending has inevitably slowed following the end of the stamp duty holiday, but remortgaging remains robust

Mortgage borrowing rose to £3.7 billion in November, from £1.1 billion in October, according to figures from the Bank of England.

Despite the rise, the figure was still £2.9 billion below the 12-month average to June 2021, when the full stamp duty holiday was in effect.

Approvals for house purchases, which is a good gauge of future borrowing, remained relatively unchanged at 67,000 in November. Approvals for remortgaging rose to 44,500 in November, below the 12-month average of 49,500.

Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker, Coreco, said: “Given the extraordinary turmoil of the year in general, the mortgage and property markets ended 2021 on a high. We’re expecting 2022 to be a record year for remortgage activity with a huge amount of borrowers coming to the end of their existing mortgage products, all of whom will be keen to fix in early to the lowest rates available.”

Jamie Thompson of Manchester-based Jamie Thompson Mortgages, added: “First-time buyers remain out in force and lenders keep increasing the amount they are willing to lend to them. We thought 5.5 times income was the maximum but now some can even borrow seven times their annual income. Those that know what they are doing can avoid the theatre of cruelty that is the rental market.”

Mortgage rates hit new low

Interest rates on new mortgages fell to an all-time low of 1.50% in November, while rates on outstanding mortgages also dropped to a new low of 2.02%.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Mortgage rates hit a record low in November, but this will be the bottom, because banks reacted quickly when rates rose the following month. However, with base rates at just 0.25%, we don’t expect this to make a significant dent in demand.”