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Mortgages for house purchase fall to 17-month low

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton
Posted:
Updated:
04/01/2023

The mini-Budget and the cost of living crisis had a stark impact on housing market confidence and the effects are likely to be ongoing

Mortgage approvals for house purchases decreased to 46,100 in November from 57,900 in October, said the Bank of England.

This is the lowest level recorded since June 2020 during the height of the pandemic (40,500).

Net borrowing rose in November 2022 to £4.4bn (from £3.6 billion the previous month). However, much of this was due to mortgages agreed a few months earlier, before the disastrous mini-Budget.

Myron Jobson, senior personal finance analyst at interactive investor, explained: “The latest mortgage data suggests that we are entering the next stage of the housing market downturn. Mortgage approvals fell to the lowest level since June 2020 in November as the reverberations of the violent gyrations in the money market in the fallout the mini-Budget in late September which wreaked havoc on the mortgage marketplace started to filter through.

“The month-on-month uptick in net borrowing of mortgage debt is likely to be the manifestation of loans agreed months before sales were completed and, as such, many transactions would have started before the infamous fiscal event.”

Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, added: “The after-effects of the mini-Budget are still being felt in the mortgage market, with approvals for home buying dropping to their lowest level since June 2020, when the market ground to a halt during the pandemic.

“This indicator of the future health of the market shows that the combined spike in mortgage rates and warnings about house price falls have clearly put the jitters into homebuyers.