More gloom for buyers as mortgage approvals fall for second consecutive month

The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase fell for the second month in a row during August.

Data from banking trade body UK Finance showed there were 42,581 mortgage approvals for house purchase during August, down 4.3% annually and the second consecutive monthly fall.

It comes after house purchase approvals hit a five-month high in June.

Remortgages continue to dominate, with approvals up 9.2% annually to 32,457.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Mortgage approvals for house purchase are lower compared with this time last year, which was not a particularly impressive time anyway.

“Clearly, the market remains fairly flat without too much movement one way or the other, which is reflected on the high street.

“Confidence is in short supply unless new market conditions are recognised. Having said that, we are seeing more viewings and more realism as the summer period is now behind us. It is now up to sellers to recognise that the market is unlikely to change for the better for some time.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “With the number of mortgages for house purchase down in August, this may partly explain why a number of lenders continue to cut the cost of their best mortgage deals, despite last month’s interest rate rise.

“With many would-be buyers holding off making a decision until Brexit is resolved one way or another, lenders are battling for a relatively small pool of borrowers and are having to reduce rates accordingly.”

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One Comment

  1. NewsBoy

    It’s not really surprising bearing in mind the number of pathetic down valuations the poor little surveyors are giving. I don’t have detailed figures but I’m guessing it is about 10% of the time – and usually for no good reason on a sale with plenty of good comparables.

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