The mortgage market across the UK remained resilient in the face of economic and political uncertainty in February, reports UK Finance in its latest Household Lending and Deposits report.
The study shows that gross mortgage lending across the residential market in February 2019 totalled £19.1 billion, which is up by 2.5% on the same month of 2018.
The number of mortgages approved by the main high street banks in February was down by 2.2% on the same month of last year, however. Despite this, approvals for home purchases were up by 1.5% year-on-year.
Remortgage approvals, on the other hand, dropped by 6.6% over the same period, while approvals for other secured borrowing were down by 3.1%.
This follows several months of strong growth in remortgaging in 2018, as customers took advantage of a competitive mortgage market to lock into attractive deals.
Vikki Jefferies, the Proposition Director at mortgage network PRIMIS, says: “A mortgage is often the biggest financial commitment a person will make during their lifetime, and, now more than ever, it is vital that advisers are contacting their customers to ensure they’re on the most suitable and cost-effective product for them.
“The last few months have shown that the mortgage market has remained particularly resilient – something that we have seen mirrored within our network and a trend that we hope to see replicated in the coming months. There’s no reason this can’t be achieved if brokers and lenders keep up the immensely hard work they’ve been putting into the sector, which is reflected in today’s positive home purchase stats.”
Matt Andrews, the Managing Director of Long-Term Mortgages at Masthaven Bank, also comments: “The upward trend in home purchases is a sign that the mortgage market is remaining resilient against the current economic and political backdrop.
“What would be interesting to see included in these stats are the number of mortgages approved by non-high street banks. More and more individuals are looking outside of the traditional realms of secured borrowing. In fact, our most recent Broker Beast research found that 61% of specialist lending intermediaries found the main reason for customers approaching them for advice was because they have specialist lending needs – often which cannot be met by the traditional high street banks.”