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Remortgage approvals down 20%

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02/01/2019
Remortgage approvals by high street banks in November sank 20.3% compared to the same month in 2017, the latest UK Finance data showed.
Remortgage approvals down 20%

Gross mortgage lending across the full market in the run-up to Christmas edged down 2% year-on-year to £23.1bn, according to the trade body.

However, the number of loans approved by high street banks fell by 10.6% compared to November 2017, apparently driven by a stark decline in remortgages.

Approvals for house purchase were 1.2% and approvals for other secured borrowing were 12.2% lower.

Eric Leenders, managing director of personal finance at UK Finance, said the data showed overall mortgage borrowing across the residential property market remained stable.

The flat market is in part down to political uncertainty, according to Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman.

He said: “These numbers chart market activity, or lack of it, in the autumn prior to further arguments about the merits or otherwise of Brexit.

“Nevertheless, we have noticed encouraging signs of more first-time buyers taking advantage of reduced competition from tax-hit buy-to-let landlords and dipping their toe in the market once again and have no reason to doubt that won’t continue into the new year.

“Looking forward, we don’t expect to see any fireworks at least until political negotiations are resolved one way or the other.”

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