Beast from the East chills mortgage approvals, say valuers

Published : 20th March 2018


The cold weather brought by the “Beast from the East” in February also managed to cool mortgage approvals, surveyors claim.

e.surv’s Mortgage Monitor estimates there were 66,364 home loans approved during February, 1.25% lower than January.

The figure is also down 2.6% on the same month last year.

When broken down by customer type, there was good news for first-time buyers and others with small deposits.

Between January and February, the proportion of loan approval going to this segment of the market increased from 21% to 21.1%.

The proportion of large deposit loans fell to 33.1% from 33.5% a month before, while the share of mortgages to mid-market borrowers remained at around 45%.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “While the number of approvals fell slightly in February, this came after two stellar months for the UK mortgage market – prompted by a rise in the Bank of England base rate at the end of last year.

“Activity is expected to pick up again in future months as existing home owners continue to feel the cost of increased mortgage payments in their pockets.

“Attention will also turn to when the next base rate rise takes place, with many experts predicting this for the late spring or early summer.

“However, with the recent Spring Statement announcing that Stamp Duty relief has helped over 60,000 first-time buyers, market conditions are still very favourable right now for those looking to take their first steps.”