The number of mortgages for home purchase, approved by main high street banks, during May 2019, was 9.1 per cent higher than in the same period last year, reaching its highest level since June 2016. This is according to recent data from UK Finance.
During the same period, remortgaging approvals fell by 3.7 per cent and approvals for other secured borrowing rose 5.9 per cent.
However, gross mortgage lending across the residential market dipped 0.4 per cent, falling to £21.9 billion when compared to figures from the previous report the month before.
High credit card spending
The £11.3 billion of UK credit card spending in May was 5.6 per cent higher than last year, while repayments remained in-line with spending on credit, the data from UK Finance showed.
It was also revealed that personal borrowing through loans was 9.3 per cent higher, with lending through overdrafts 3.2 per cent lower, compared to the same month last year. Meanwhile, deposits held in instant-access accounts were 3 per cent higher than figures in May 2018.
Richard Pike, sales and marketing director for Phoebus Software, commented: “Looking at these latest figures from UK Finance and the upwards swing in the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase, it appears the market is moving again, despite the ongoing political turmoil in the UK.”
Mr Pike concluded: “The increase in credit card spending is something that we do need to be mindful of but currently we can also see that consumers are so far keeping up with repayments of their debt. One wonders whether credit cards are being used to keep up repayments on other areas as well. We must not only consider levels of debt but future affordability, if credit card spending keeps increasing.”
Promising future for the market
John Goodall, CEO of Landbay, commented: “It was another slow month for mortgage lending, with a potent cocktail of poor consumer confidence and subdued house prices. However, it’s heartening to see a rebound in the number of mortgage approvals – demand continues to shine through, even in challenging political and economic circumstances.”
Mr Goodall concluded that for borrowers, the current landscape of low interest rates, stable inflation and impressive wage growth should lend some breathing space to their budgets, meaning that things could be looking up for them, as they move into the second half of the year.