Number of mortgages up 27% year on year in Feb – BoE

The number of mortgages secured on dwellings in February was 118,994 according to the Bank of England, representing a 27.0% increase on the number of mortgages in February last year.

This includes 65,420 loans for house purchase, 40,846 mortgages and 12,728 others.

In terms of growth, comparing last year to this year, the change from January to February was also higher, with the change from January to February being 24% in 2015, but 28.6% this year, indicating an increase in activity.

However when we move away from the non-seasonally adjusted figures to the seasonally adjusted figures, the market looks relatively static, with a fall of 0.6%, but a year on year increase of 22%.

Richard Sexton, director of chartered surveyor e.surv, said: “The start of the year has seen a sustained momentum in house purchase lending, fuelled by the force of buy-to-let lending. February in particular saw a surge of buy-to-let activity as a result of the race to beat stamp duty changes – coming into force tomorrow.

“Many fear this driver for lending activity may die down after April and some fall away appears likely. However, while buy-to-let may be the taking a lead role in the lending market at the moment, small-deposit borrowing and remortgaging are also reaping the rewards of a warm economic climate.

“With an interest rate rise seemingly a long way off, and even a further cut possible this year, low mortgage rates and a wide range of available mortgage products are bringing flexibility. Borrowers may be facing higher prices and higher deposit costs, but they are benefiting from low inflation and rising wages. Consumer competition remains high to grab the best property deals – but house purchase lenders are showing no signs of cold feet and remain bullish regarding the rest of 2016”

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