Mortgage lending enjoys February bump

Gross mortgage lending grew 2.5 per cent on an annual basis in February, according to new figures from UK Finance.

In total, £19.1bn was lent out in February 2019 compared to £18.6 the year before.

In January, UK Finance adds, £22.5bn was extended in mortgage loans, giving a month-on-month drop of 15 per cent.

The data also shows that last month there were 33,621 home purchases approved, a rise of 1.5 per cent on last year’s figure of 33,110, while remortgaging numbers fell annually from 25,999 to 24,281 – a drop of 6.6 per cent.

Responsible Lending manging director Keith Haggart comments: “The feeding frenzy of remortgaging to lock in low rates is a distant memory now but the determination of buyers remains. The suspicion is that first-time buyers in particular are still moving heaven and Earth to get on the ladder while they can take advantage of some of the most generous government incentives in living memory.”

Primis proposition director Vikki Jefferies adds: “The last few months have shown that the mortgage market has remained particularly resilient – something that we have seen mirrored within our network and a trend that we hope to see replicated in the coming months. There is no reason this cannot be achieved if brokers and lenders keep up the immensely hard work they have been putting into the sector, which is reflected in today’s positive home purchase stats.”

Meanwhile, North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf adds that, “The positive, but modest, growth in home purchases shows market resilience at a time when political uncertainty was rising… once the obstacles to Brexit clarity are removed, then we feel further pent-up demand will inevitably be released.”

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