March Mortgage approvals down 20.8% on last year

Recent data shows a significant fall in the number of approved mortgages for property purchases last month.

According to UK Finance figures, there were 38,710 approvals during March – down 20.8% on the corresponding months last year.

March figures also showed that the value was of total lending was down annually, recorded at £7.5 billion compared to March 2017 which saw a total of £9.1 billion.

However, mortgages did see an improvement when considered on a month-on-month basis.

March approvals were up 16.9% on February, with total lending recorded at £6.2 billion in the second month of 2018 .

Commenting on the figures was Mike Scott. The chief property analyst at Yopa took the view that the poor weather conditions last month could have led to the reduced number of approvals, stating: UK Finance reports a downwards lending trend in March, in line with the downturn in house sales reported by HMRC.

“Some of that drop will be due to the bad weather and earlier Easter weekend, leading people to defer their mortgage paperwork until the following month. We shouldn’t read too much into a single month’s data but it may indicate lower levels of activity in the housing market in the months to come.”

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