Good times back? Mortgage market stages ‘extraordinary’ recovery

2nd September 2019

igures for July from trade group UK Finance shows highest number of mortgages for buying homes since 2009.

Nigel Lewis
28th August 2019 0 915 Views
halifax mortgage lending

Mortgage lending for home purchases by high street banks made a ‘remarkable’ recovery last month leading many experts to predict a mini-boom in the housing market during the run-up to Brexit.

At 95,126 mortgages approved by high street banks during July, it’s the highest monthly figure since 2009, figures from UK Finance reveal.

This includes a 16.4% increase in the number of home purchase mortgages compared to a year ago.

Lending also increased in value to £26.1 billion which is 2.9 per cent higher than the same month in 2018 and the highest since March 2016.

But the figures only cover high street lending which constitutes approximately two thirds of the market; lending by other kinds of firms including via intermediaries such as estate agents isn’t as strong, UK Finance figures published earlier this year suggest.

“Mortgage approvals haven’t reached these dizzying heights since the depths of the financial crash so it’s quite remarkable it’s taken us a decade to get here,” says Tim Waterlow, development director of lifetime mortgage provider Responsible Lending.

“This fact alone drives home the long-lasting impact the crash has had on the housing market and, with murmurings around Europe of more economic turmoil, lenders will be hoping this is not a peak before yet another collapse.
“Lenders will be hoping this latest data could point to the housing market’s Phoenix moment and the start of a new recovery in transaction volumes.”
Richard Pike of Phoebus Software, says: “These latest figures from UK Finance are the most encouraging for a while. The statistics bear out the regional figures released last week, which showed that across every region, other than in London, mortgage approvals were up.”

The latest figures are in sharp contract to January this year when mortgage lending dropped dramatically.