Mortgages And Remortgages Increase In December

The mortgage market improved again in December as the market responded to political certainty following the General Election.

The 29,490 new buyer mortgages completed in December represented a marginal 0.3% rise in completions from the same month a year earlier, according to UK Finance’s ‘Mortgage Trend’ report.

More homemovers felt confident enough to take a step up the ladder with the 29,400 homemover mortgages equating to a 3.2% rise year on year.

Despite recent concerns over the buy-to-let sector, both new mortgages and remortgages increased in December. The 5,700 buy-to-let purchase mortgages and 13,300 remortgages represented 3.6% and 2.3% respective rises.

John Phillips, National Operations Director at Just Mortgages, said:

“If November’s figures were damning evidence of the damage caused by the political drift and delay that has characterised the last few years, the December numbers released this morning are a sign that we may finally have turned a corner.

“The general election took place halfway through the month and since then there has been a strong sense across the market that things are picking up. Although loans to first-time buyers are still fractionally down on the previous year, a 3.2 per cent increase in new loans to home-movers suggests that existing homeowners looking to make their next move on the ladder are finally beginning to come back to the market.

“This compares very favourably with the 10 per cent year-on-year falls last month and gives cause for some mild optimism that we may be seeing the much-talked-about ‘Boris bounce’ materialising. Whether it will last, is another matter.”

Richard Pike, Phoebus Software Sales and Marketing Director, said:

“Earth-shattering today’s figures are not, but what they are is perhaps more than we might have hoped for.  Not only have the numbers and values increased in most areas, but they have done it against a backdrop of real uncertainty.  When you consider that most of the transactions would have been started three or four months earlier we might have been forgiven to expecting less favourable results.

“It just goes to show that no matter what is going on around us there are those that need to move house, those that are in a financial position to buy for the first time and even those that see a great opportunity to invest.  With the new cabinet in place, and despite the sudden departure of the Chancellor, there is a massive opportunity for the government to move on housing policy and keep the sector moving in a positive direction.”

Today's Conveyancer