According to trade body UK Finance, home purchase loan approvals by the nation’s high street banks is at it’s strongest for 12 months.
Agreed loans reached 41,807 in August, which is slightly more than the monthly average from the last six months of 41,133. It is also 11% higher than the same time last year when the market was subdued due to Brexit.
UK Finance estimates that overall gross mortgage lending in August was £24.2 billion, of which £15.1 billion was lent by High Street Banks.
“Housing market activity is in Goldilocks territory, growing only modestly since the start of the year, though the mix of activity has shifted towards first-time buyers, away from buy-to-let and cash,” commented Mohammad Jamei, UK Finance’s senior economist. “There is also some rebalancing across regions, as activity picks up in the north of England, Wales and Scotland, away from London, the south east and east Anglia.
“Despite resilience in consumer spending, annual growth in consumer credit has been slowing over the last few months. Across the UK some households have opted to save a little less, whilst others have not increased their borrowing. Meanwhile there has been growth in business deposits as non-financial companies hold cashflow and reserves amidst broader uncertainty in their trading conditions.”
There is a good choice of reasonable mortgage deals currently on offer, which has been cited as the main reason for the increase in approvals. However market commentators are warning that if a rate rise does go ahead, then lending figures are likely to drop back down again.