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Mortgage approvals hit 14-month high in April – Bank of England

Written by: Emma Lunn
Cheap mortgages saw approvals for both house purchase and remortgages peak at the highest level for 14 months in April.
The latest figures from the Bank of England show the number of loan approvals for house purchases was 68,076 in April, compared to the average of 60,679 over the previous six months.

April also saw 35,930 loans remortgaged, compared to the average of 32,308 over the previous six months. The number of approvals for other purposes was 10,623, compared to the average of 9,404 over the previous six months.

Martin Stewart, director of independent mortgage broker London Money, said many people weren’t sitting on their hands in the run-up to the General Election after all.

“More people remortgaged in April than in previous months, too, and why wouldn’t they with rates at all-time, almost obscene, lows?” he said.

“While there is certainly more caution in the market at present than a year or so ago – among borrowers and lenders alike – mortgage rates are so competitive that they are inducing people to commit to a home purchase. And with the economy showing fairly benign growth in the first quarter of the year, any prospect of an interest rate rise in the near future is diminishing.”

Richard Pike, Phoebus Software’s sales and marketing director, said the Bank of England figures are very encouraging.

“Many predicted the lull before the election but it appears as though there were other factors that encouraged people to move or get onto the property ladder even before election uncertainty was removed. With all things considered: stamp duty, Help To Buy, low interest rates, higher LTVs and lenders once again willing to lend; the market is ripe for growth. If further predictions for the year are to be believed then we are now in for a more buoyant period, which seems most likely.”

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