Mortgage approvals rise for first time since August: BoE


The number of mortgage approvals made in February hit 43,536, shows Bank of England (BoE) data.

This is the first time this metric has increased since August 2022, having fallen for five months in a row as of January this year.

The value of these approvals also went up on a monthly basis, from £8.6bn to £9.7bn.

Regarding remortgages, approvals rose here too, from 25,364 in January, and at a value of £5.2bn, to 28,093 at a value of £5.9bn in February.

However, net mortgage borrowing saw a dramatic decrease, totalling £0.7bn, which is the lowest level recorded since July 2021.

The BoE details that if data gathered during Covid-19 is excluded, this figure is in fact the lowest level seen since April 2016.

North London estate agent and former Rics residential chairman Jeremy Leaf says: “These figures are timely. Although net lending was down, the first rise in mortgage approvals in six months gives a clear indication of where the market is heading, particularly after it took such a hammering in the final quarter of 2022 from rising interest rates and inflation.

“Demand is slowly rebuilding now mortgage rates are starting to stabilise and more products are available as we enter the crucial spring period. This will help set the tone for the remainder of the year.”

And LiveMore managing director of capital markets and finance Simon Webb comments: “Net borrowing was £5.9 billion last September and has decreased every month for the past six months down to £0.7bn in February.

“This is reflective of the uncertain economic climate, inflationary pressures and rise in mortgage rates with people waiting to see a clearer picture.”

“On the positive side mortgage approvals are up, which is a good sign for future mortgage lending so I would expect to see lending figures increase in the coming months.”

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