In an indication of the stability in the UK housing market, mortgage approvals increased by 4 per cent in March 2019, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv, the UK’s largest residential chartered surveyors.
As many as 66,174 mortgages were approved during March 2019, approximately 4 per cent higher than the same month a year ago. “Low rates have created favourable conditions for existing homeowners looking to take out new loans, and first-time buyer activity has increased, despite the slowdown in the wider market,” e.surv said in its latest release.
Across all parts of the UK market, mortgage approvals were also up month-on-month, rising 2.9 per cent between February and March.
A detailed analysis reveals that mid-market borrowers were the main beneficiaries. Almost half of all loans went to this segment of the market – 47.8 per cent. This is higher than the 46.8 per cent recorded a month ago and further ahead of the 44.8 per cent from January. Large deposit borrowers accounted for 26.2 per cent of all mortgages approved in March.
The region of Yorkshire is the best place for first-time buyers and others with small deposits to get onto the ladder. Some 33.4 per cent of all loans in Yorkshire went to these customers, more than any other region.
Richard Sexton, Director at e.surv, comments: “With almost half of all mortgages going to mid- market borrowers, it is clear that many current homeowners are still coming to market for new loans. This may be because they are keen to lock into loans at the current historically low rates in the hope that it will save them money in the long term.”