Mortgage approvals fell back in February to 64,300, slightly below the average of the previous six months of 65,500, according to Bank of England data.
Approvals for remortgaging stood at 47,700, below the 49,500 average of the previous six months.
The report also found that individuals’ net borrowing through mortgages was a little weaker in February, at £3.5bn, and slightly below the £3.8bn average of the past six months.
The annual growth of consumer’s borrowing on credit cards and as other loans continued to slow, though at a more gradual pace than the second half of 2018.
Annual growth of bank lending to businesses fell in February for large business and SMEs, reversing increases in January.
However, households significantly increased deposits in savings accounts that pay interest in February.
Remortgaging to jump over the next few months
Nick Chadbourne, CEO at LMS, said that over the next few months, it is likely to see a surge in remortgage activity.
He added: “April 2019 will have the highest product expiry rate for the past two years and the current low interest rates won’t last forever, so homeowners will be looking to take advantage of these deals while they last.
“We are already seeing customers choosing longer term products when remortgaging and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues throughout the year.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “It is no surprise that mortgage approvals for house purchase fell back slightly last month. In fact, the only surprise might be that they didn’t fall back a lot more, bearing in mind Brexit and other distractions.
“Looking forward, we have found on the ground that enquiries have increased. Buyers and sellers are fighting to come out of hibernation later than expected so there could be a reasonable upturn in mortgage approvals and sales over the next few months.
“Builders and developers in particular are demonstrating more optimism as we are receiving enquiries for development land where product will not be available for at least 12-18 months when the present fog will hopefully be a distant memory.”
Mortgage market remains resilient
Kevin Roberts, director of Legal and General Mortgage Club said that despite ongoing concerns about the strength of the UK housing market in the current political climate, the mortgage market remains resilient.
He added: “Not only is it providing great support to buyers across the country with schemes such as shared ownership and Help to Buy, but the choice and flexibility on offer from lenders continues to attract borrowers looking for a good deal.
“For those unsure of how to make their homeownership dreams a reality, speaking to an independent adviser is a sensible first move.
“Good advice is absolutely essential to a successful mortgage journey, providing support at each step of the way and helping borrowers to find the solution best suited for their unique circumstances.”