MortgagesMay 24 2013

Gross mortgage stays steady at £7.8bn: BBA

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Gross mortgage borrowing stayed steady in April, hitting £7.8bn, data from the British Bankers’ Association has revealed.

This is marginally below the six month average of £7.9bn. The volume of mortgage approval is edging up, as there were 59,813 mortgage approvals in April, compared to 58,994 in the previous month.

According to the BBA, schemes to assist the mortgage lending market are expected to help more first-time buyers and mortgage chains in due course.

The average house purchase approval rose to £155,900.

Approvals in April for other loans were some 37 per cent lower than in April 2012, no doubt reflecting lower levels of equity available and a reluctance amongst homeowners to take on extra borrowing.

David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA, said: “New household borrowing totalled over £16bn in April. This monthly level has been fairly constant recently and with various government schemes, including the recent extension to Funding for Lending, banks are offering competitive rates and products.

“Low consumer confidence is depressing demand for new borrowing and consumers are continuing to save, with deposits rising by 5.5 per cent over the year to April.”

Adrian Anderson, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, added: “Mortgage rates continue to fall, offering cheaper options for borrowers. The BBA expects this to continue, with first-time buyers in particular benefiting under the scheme in coming months.

“Borrowers continue to overpay on their mortgages, taking advantage of record low interest rates, and pay down debt where they can. This makes sense - why leave savings languishing in accounts paying such poor rates of interest when you can reduce your borrowing instead? There is also a reluctance to take on extra borrowing because of the uncertain economic and jobs climate.

‘The numbers demonstrate that we remain some way off a sustained recovery in the housing market as caution continues to prevail. However, mortgage brokers and estate agents report the highest level of enquiries seen since the downturn so we expect this to continue to feed through to improved official figures in coming months.”