Mortgage market hits the brakes ahead of Brexit as approvals tumble

Mortgage lending took a tumble in September, with approvals for first-time buyers and home movers both down.

Data from banking trade body UK Finance shows approvals for first-time buyers had hit an yearly high during August, but the figure fell 4.5% annually during September to 29,400.

Home movers also saw the number of mortgage approvals decline by 8.4% to 29,400.

There were 18.8% fewer mortgage approvals for buy-to-let purchases, at 5,200, while even the previously strong remortgaging data was down 0.6% to 35,600 for home owners and fell 0.8% to 12,300 for landlords.

Commenting on the figures, Richard Pike, sales and marketing director for mortgage technology provider Phoebus Software, said: “Unfortunately, this was always going to be the case the closer we get to the final Brexit deadline.

“According to the Bank of England, household sentiment is fairly buoyant as wage growth rises above inflation. However, when it comes to the wider economy most people are much less confident as we wait in limbo for the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

“The brakes have definitely been applied with regards to purchasing, and once again our industry will be relying on remortgages to keep its head above water.

“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we are in for a rocky few months. Until we know what kind of a deal we will secure with the EU it is safe to say that people will remain cautious and that is likely to be reflected in the number of property sales.”

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