Mortgage borrowing passes £17bn mark in March: BBA

Mortgage borrowing passes £17bn mark in March: BBA

Gross mortgage borrowing hit £17.1bn in March, according to the British Bankers Association. This figure is 64 per cent higher than a year ago and the highest borrowing amount since April 2008.

The BBA’s latest statistical analysis put this growth down to a reported sharp increase in the purchase of buy-to-let and second homes, with people rushing to complete transactions ahead of the increase in stamp duty on 1 April, according to chief economic adviser Rebecca Harding.

The number of mortgage approvals in March was 20 per cent more than a year ago, with remortgaging up 25 per cent and house purchase up 14 per cent.

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Adrian Anderson, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said the flood of buyers in March will not necessarily be replaced in the short term, “while for many borrowers, tougher affordability criteria is still a barrier to getting a mortgage or remortgaging”.

Adviser view

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added there are potential hiccups on the horizon that may foster some uncertainty, such as the EU referendum.

Mr Harris said: “The challenger banks are keen to lend with lenders such as HSBC and Tesco Bank using brokers for the first time, while more established lenders also wish to bring in more business, which will be reflected in cheap rates and some tweaking of criteria.”