Thu 13 Dec 2018 View all news articles
An incredible £25.5 billion worth of mortgages were lent in October - with approvals for house purchases 3.6% up on last year - the latest official figures show.
“Overall mortgage lending grew in October, despite an uncertain economic environment, while house purchase mortgage approvals by the main high street banks were also up on the previous year," said Eric Leenders, UK Finance managing director.
And the increase is being hailed as a sign the property market might be in better shape than people realised.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said he saw it as encouraging news, especially in the face of rolling Brexit turmoil.
"Clearly those who need to get on with moving are doing so regardless," he commented.
Reality hitting sellers
Others saw the increase as a case of the penny dropping for sellers.
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: "This confirms what we have seen on the ground - that some sellers are taking a reality check and recognising that the difference between sale price and purchase price is much more important than the headline figure."
The other good news is that rates could be about to come down - as lenders look to wrap up sales before Christmas.
Harris said: "Over the past six weeks, Swap rates [which fixed-rates deals are based on] have been trending downwards .
"The question is: will we see a lender fire sale as they target completions before year end as the cost of funding is cheaper? It could be a good time for borrowers to pick up an attractive mortgage deal as lenders compete more aggressively for business."
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