Lending for house purchase drops off despite ‘obscene’ rate-cutting by mortgage firms

The number of mortgages approved for house purchase dropped last month, Bank of England data shows.

Lending data for October shows there were 64,602 mortgage approvals for house purchase, down 1.8% compared with September.

It is also below the six-month monthly average of 66,087.

The decline echoes predictions from lenders earlier this year that demand for mortgages would fall up to the end of November.

Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker Coreco, said: “For borrowers, the past few months have been one long Black Friday as the high street lenders compete for market share.

“Remortgage activity is especially strong, with rates on some two and five-year fixes borderline obscene.

“Approvals for house purchase were down slightly but October was a particularly fraught month so that’s no surprise.

“Transaction levels are simmering by historical standards, but given the environment we find ourselves in they are holding up well.

“The market is likely to remain in its current holding pattern until the New Year when we have more clarity on Brexit.”

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