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Mortgage Applications and Approvals Increase in September

The number of approved house purchase mortgages reached a three-month high in September, according to official figures from the Bank of England.

The number of approved house purchase mortgages reached a three-month high in September, according to official figures from the Bank of England.

Mortgage approvals rose by almost 5,000 between August and September, with a total of 118,470 applications approved in September.


The largest share of approvals came from remortgaging applications, accounting for 42,440 of the loans offered in September – 558 more than the average of 41,882 seen over the first six months of 2016.


Following the lowering of the interest rates in August, the Bank of England indicated that the record low base rate of 0.25% may have seen many take the opportunity to lock in a better deal.


For house purchases, the figures also increased, with numbers rising by 1,948 to 62,932 loans approved, worth a combined £11.1bn – hitting a three-month high.


Whilst the number is the highest for the quarter-to-date, the figure falls just short of the figure for the first six months of the year, which averaged a total of 64,481 approved applications.


This was augmented in part by the surge of applications in Q1, with investors and landlords seeking to beat the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge on second properties and buy-to-let investments on April 1st.


Commenting on the increased activity in the mortgage market, Jeremy Leaf, former residential chairman of RICS, said:


‘The figures show a welcome bounce back in lending from the very disappointing figures the previous month. While bearing in mind that these numbers are a little historical, they reiterate what we are seeing on the ground that following an initial pause buyers are getting back to business.’


The increased activity in the mortgage market reflects the latest House Price Sentiment Index released earlier this week by Knight Frank, with household confidence in the UK at its highest level since Brexit.

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