Mortgage approvals slip below six-month average

Mortgage borrowing increased by 9% year-on-year but the number of approvals has slipped, say lenders.

Data from the British Bankers Association recorded £13.3bn of gross mortgage borrowing in May, up 9% on a year ago.

However, actual approvals for house purchase were 3.3% lower annually at 40,347 and slightly below the monthly average of 41,923.

Even approvals for remortgaging, which has typically been driving the market, were 10% lower year-on-year at 24,248, below the six-month average of 26,494.

Commenting on the figures, Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “At first glance you might think the BBA figures are quite encouraging, but when you consider what was happening 12 months ago, one realises that they are not quite as impressive as they might seem.

“Last May the housing market was still reeling from the imposition of the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge on second homes so we would have expected approval numbers to have been considerably above where they were this time last year.

“Looking forward, there is no indication that we will see a bigger correction in the property market, just a continuation of what we have seen over the past few months – more cautious trading and more realism among buyers and sellers.”


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