Mortgage approvals continue downward trend

Mortgage approvals continue downward trend

Mortgage approvals are continuing the decline they have been on through 2018, according to Bank of England figures.

In April there were 121,600 approvals in total, down from 123,663 the month before.

Approvals have been falling since the beginning of the year, from the 129,160 there were in January.

But the amount of gross lending in April increased slightly, from £22bn to £22.8bn with the amount of lending secured on homes which was outstanding remaining flat at £1.37bn.

Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, said: "With speculation of an interest rate rise only put to bed earlier this month, it is unsurprising to see a slight reduction in loan approvals for April, as consumers erred on the side of caution. 

"However, outdated high-street lending criteria continues to prevent some borrowers from accessing mortgages. Customers should not be deemed ‘high risk’ off the back of one or two missed credit payments.

"These customers are not repeat offenders, nor just numbers on a credit score. Instead, the mainstream sector should adapt to ensure that this group of borrowers are not overlooked and, in the meantime, specialist lenders will continue to help the underserved onto the property ladder."

The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase fell from 62,802 to 62,455 between March and April.

Meanwhile the number of approvals for remortgaging fell from 46,917 to 46,189 and the number falling into the "other" category fell from 13,944 to 12,956.

Danny Belton, head of lender relationships at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said mortgage approvals remained "steady" as consumers looked to benefit from near all-time low rates and competitive products.

He said: "Brokers play an invaluable role in the mortgage process, guiding consumers through the thousands of products available, and as an industry we need to do more to promote their worth to ensure consumers find the most appropriate fit for their needs."