Mortgage lending drops as sellers adopt ‘wait and see’ approach

The value of gross mortgage lending dropped at the start of the year despite a slight boost in approvals for home buyers.

Data from banking trade body UK Finance shows that gross mortgage lending fell 1.5% annually in January to £21.6bn.

There was some good news for home buyers as house purchase approvals increased by 1.5% annually to 29,159, but remortgaging was down 3.1%.

John Goodall, chief executive of online buy-to-let lender Landbay, said: “This dip in lending is unquestionably linked to home owners and landlords putting off the decision to put their property on the market.

“This ‘wait and see’ approach, entirely understandable in the current economic climate, is exacerbating the chronic undersupply of available housing.

“The current stalemate means that it falls to landlords, both private and institutional, to pick up the pieces and provide quality housing for those who would be buyers in more normal economic conditions.”

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