Mortgages  

Mortgage approvals took sharp drop in December

Mortgage approvals took sharp drop in December

The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase in December fell to their weakest level since January 2015, according to figures from the Bank of England.

Remortgaging approvals also fell at the end of last year, following strong figures in the previous two months.

There was a sudden drop in the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases to 61,039 in December compared to 64,712 in the previous month.

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According to the seasonally adjusted figures, the total number of mortgage approvals fell to 121,482, a fall of more than 10,000 from the previous month.

This is the lowest level for total mortgage approvals since April 2017.

Meanwhile value of total mortgage approvals was £20bn, compared to £22bn in November, which was the lowest level since May last year.

Remortgage approvals fell to 46,475 in December, from 53,890, which was the lowest level since June 2017.

Richard Pike, sales and marketing director of Phoebus Software, said: "Whether this has any bearing on the outlook for the market for 2018 is debatable though.

"We are moving into what, traditionally, is a busy time for property sales so the coming months are likely to show an improvement on December.

"However, as the general trend was of a slowing market towards the end of the year, compared to 2016, the next couple of months could show more subdued results than the beginning of last year."

damian.fantato@ft.com