Mortgage Completions And Approvals Fall In October

Between August and October, the number of mortgages completed in the UK fell by 6.7%. 

65,630 mortgages completed in the UK during October according to recent statistics from UK Finance.  

This figure was made up of 32,260 first-time buyer mortgage completions and 33,370 home mover mortgage completions.  

Whilst the figures represented a 2.8% and 4.2% increase respectively on 2018’s mortgage completions in October, they illustrate the impact Brexit has had on the property market in 2019 when compared with more recent completions. 

August boasted 70,390 mortgage completions, made up of 35,010 first-time buyer completions and 35,380 home mover completions. 

Remortgages struggled against 2018 figures in October.  The 18,910 remortgage completions with additional borrowing in October was 20.8% less than in 2018.  

Similarly, 20% fewer borrowers looking to remortgage without additional borrowing completed in October 2019. 

As section 21 and stamp duty land tax surcharges linger in the mind of investors, buy-to-let financing continued to fall in October. 

The 6,600 new buy-to-let purchase mortgages completed in October was 1.5% fewer than October 2018. 

The 16,200 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector also represented a 2.4% fall from the same month in 2018. 

The reduction in activity for completed mortgages reflects the 1.5% fall in mortgage approvals noted by the Bank of England’s data in October. 

The 63,602 mortgage approvals for October was also almost 2,000 approvals below the 66,087 five-year average. 

Andrew Montlake, Managing Director of mortgage broker Coreco, said: 

“For borrowers, the past few months have been one long Black Friday as the high street lenders compete for market share. 

Remortgage activity is especially strong, with rates on some two and five-year fixes borderline obscene. 

“Approvals for house purchase were down slightly but October was a particularly fraught month so that’s no surprise. 

“Transaction levels are simmering by historical standards, but given the environment we find ourselves in they are holding up well. 

“The market is likely to remain in its current holding pattern until the New Year when we have more clarity on Brexit.” 

Will mortgage completions and home moves improve as we head into the next decade with more political certainty? 

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