Mortgage Approvals Highest In January Since 2016
02 Mar 2020
Approx Reading time: 3 minutes
- The number of applications approved by mortgage lenders has almost doubled in the month of January.
- Experts believe this increase in consumer demand is due to a more stable political environment as a result of PM Boris Johnson’s win back in December 2019.
- However, markets continue to suffer due to ongoing fears surrounding coronavirus.
Recently reported figures by the Bank of England have shown that the number of approvals given for house purchase mortgages has reached a nearly 4-year high, which has confirmed that consumer demand did increase during the first month of this year.
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According to reported figures, a total of 70,888 mortgage applications were signed off by lenders in the month of January, which is slightly higher compared to the 67,930 applications signed off a month earlier and the highest since the month of February 2016, before the referendum that shook the British housing market and slowed down its momentum.
Analysis of the data shows that unsecured consumer lending showed an annual rate of growth of approximately 6.1% during January, confirming a rebound in consumer confidence.
Consumers are more confident right now than they have been in the past 18 months, and businesses have also started to feed on it. According to experts, this shift in behavior should be credited to the election win of Boris Johnson back in December 2019, which, many believe, has restored some sense of unity in the country.
However, this growth has been marred by the increasing threat posed by the Chinese coronavirus, which has already caused stock markets to tumble and plummet. Share prices have not declined as much since the financial crises of the late 2000s.
According to Mark Carney, who is the Governor of the BoE, an economic hit will definitely come to Britain due to the virus, although mitigating its impact on the economy might be possible, to a certain extent.
House prices in the UK have also increased by 2.3% in the month of February on a YoY basis, which is the biggest hike in the past 18 months, according to data reported by Nationwide, a mortgage lender. This trend follows a year of slow house market performance due to ongoing Brexit tensions.
Figures released by the BoE also revealed that net mortgage lending in the country increased by £4.007 billion in the month of January, which is lower than the forecasted figure of £4.7 billion. However, consumer lending exceeded expectations, recording a figure of £1.230 billion instead of the forecasted £1.1 billion, in January.