Mortgages Update: Mortgage Approvals Plummet As Property … – Forbes

4 January: Cocktail Of Factors See Numbers At Lowest Since Pandemic

The number of mortgages approved for house purchases fell to 46,100 in November from 57,900 in October. 

It marks the lowest level recorded since June 2020 (40,500) when the property market ground to a halt during the Covid pandemic.

Approvals for remortgaging – as defined by switching to a different lender – plummeted to 32,500 in November from 51,300 in October. This is below the previous six-month average of 48,100.

The figures, from the Bank of England’s latest Money and Credit Report, are evidence of a weakening property market due to rising borrowing costs, falling property prices and the negative after-effects of last September’s mini-Budget under then-Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng.

Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at investment platform, Bestinvest, commented: “November’s drop in mortgage approvals and remortgaging is no surprise when you consider the catalogue of challenges facing the property market, with higher borrowing costs, double-digit inflation and falling real wages impacting affordability for both first-time buyers and those looking to refinance.”

The figures also reflect many buyers failing affordability checks or struggling to secure a mortgage at all after a spate of major lenders pulled deals following the mini-Budget, she added.

However, while mortgage approvals fell in November, individual mortgage debt increased to £4.4 billion from £3.6 billion in October, according to the Bank of England. 

On the back of nine interest rate rises in 2022, the cost of mortgages also increased. Interest paid on new borrowing rose by 26 basis points to 3.35%, while rates on existing mortgages increased by 9 basis points to 2.38%.

But, while the odds have been against them, mortgaged first-time buyers are still set to make up 53% of the property market in 2022, according to separate research from Yorkshire Building Society

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