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March 2015 Newsletter – Mortgage Approvals Finally On The Up?

March 2nd, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Monthly Newsletters

Mortgage Approvals Finally on the Up?

Despite many experts suggesting that the housing market was seeing a definite cool down towards the end of 2014, mortgage approvals saw a marked increase in December. According to the Bank of England, lenders approved 60,275 mortgages for house purchases in December, up from 58,956 in November. This increase is the first one felt in the second half of 2014, leading many experts to be cautiously optimistic about the market.

But it is unclear whether this increase is only a direct reflection of consumers and lenders belatedly adapting to the changes felt from the Mortgage Market Review last April. Other factors need also to be accounted for: the recent saturation of record-low offers from competing lenders combining with consumers wary of a possible future interest rate rise, the influence of Governmental intervention schemes such as lowering Stamp Duty for first-time buyers and Help to Buy, or it could simply be the misleading micro-analysis of a much longer trend.

Despite this latest rise, mortgage approvals are still well down from 2014’s peak of 75,557 in January, a clear indicator of the effects of regulatory changes. But even this peak is still a substantial decrease from the pre-2008 heights of around 90,000 per month, another visible reflection of how much the market has changed in the years since the financial crisis.

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