Mortgage lending activity remained broadly flat in October, according to the latest Money and Credit report from the Bank of England (BoE).
During October, mortgage market activity was broadly stable, the research shows. Households borrowed an extra £4.1 billion secured against their homes in the month, which was fairly in line with September, but a little above the flows seen earlier in 2018.
Mortgage Lending Remains Flat, According to BoE Report
The annual growth rate of mortgage lending ticked up to 3.3% in October. It has been around 3% since late 2016, and remains modest compared to the pre-financial crisis period.
The number of mortgages approved for home purchases has been broadly stable for the past couple of years, the BoE reports, and ticked up to 67,000 in October – the highest since January 2018.
The amount of approvals for remortgaging was unchanged on the month, at 49,000.
Steve Seal, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, comments: “With mortgage lending flat, the deadline to Brexit is likely having an influence. Both homeowners and buyers are deciding to see what the New Year brings, and if a deal will be reached.
“In the meantime, though, there is more the industry could be doing to boost activity. Self-employed workers, contractors and freelancers usually struggle to acquire funding, yet this group makes up nearly 16% of the UK workforce. However, they are deemed high risk by certain lenders, simply for having irregular or multiple income streams. Today, this view is outdated. As more and more customers decide to make the step towards self-employment, it’s essential that the mortgage market adapts and accommodates for their needs.”
Kevin Roberts, the Director of Legal and General Mortgage Club, also believes: “There’s no doubt that Brexit and the ongoing political uncertainty has made some buyers and potential sellers act with caution, despite the current low interest rate environment. However, with its growing choice and flexibility, the mortgage market continues to entice borrowers looking for competitive deals.
“For those unsure of how to navigate the market, speaking with a financial adviser will steer them in the right direction. Advisers have extensive knowledge of the market and will be up to date with the increasing number of products available. They are well placed to help consumers find the best-suited mortgage for their circumstance.”