The amount of mortgage approvals increased to 68,764 in July, the highest number since February 2014, says the Bank of England (BoE).
Mortgage Approvals at 17-Month High in July
July’s approvals level surpassed June’s 66,582 and the average of 64,186 for the previous six months, according to the latest BoE Money and Credit report.
The number of approvals for remortgaging also rose, hitting 38,042 in July compared with 36,620 in June and an average of 33,759 for the previous six months.
Furthermore, the report indicates that net mortgage lending grew by £2.7 billion in July, higher than June’s £2.6 billion and the largest increase since July 2008.
Head of Lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), Brian Murphy, states: “Mortgage approvals continued to climb in July, with the number of approvals for remortgage in particular seeing a significant annual increase. Bargain basement mortgage rates are attracting borrowers in their droves and many are keen to lock into record low pricing before interest rates rise.
“Not only do remortgagers stand to make significant savings by switching to a competitive deal, many are in a strong position to cash in on the rising value of their home. Our own analysis shows that the average remortgage loan has reached a new post-recession high, with typical loan-to-values [LTVs] also increasing. Savvy borrowers are therefore increasingly making the most of house price rises by releasing money from their homes.
“The second half of the year is often a good time to look for a mortgage; lenders falling behind their annual targets will beef up their product offering to attract new business. This year, it may also be the last window of opportunity to get hold of a record low rate. Several lenders have edged up their pricing recently and it won’t be too long before rates reach the bottom of the curve.”1