Mortgage market cools in February

Mortgage market cools in February

February saw a cooling of the UK mortgage market, with the number of application approvals falling, according to the Mortgage Monitor.

The month’s approvals were 1.25 per cent lower than in January 2018 and down 2.6 per cent compared to last February.

Richard Sexton, director at E.surv chartered surveyors, 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.

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"Activity is expected to pick up again in future months as existing homeowners 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 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."

The latest Mortgage Monitor also showed there were 66,364 mortgages approved during February 2018.

But there was good news for first-time buyers and others with small deposits. Between January and February, the proportion of loan approvals going to this segment of the market increased from 21 per cent to 21.1 per cent.

Scott Gallacher, chartered financial planner for Leicester-based Rowley Turton said the changes maybe down to economic uncertainty. He added: "Continued economic uncertainty with the country about whether or not Brexit is a good idea might be a reason."