Mortgage market steady despite Brexit woes

Mortgage market steady despite Brexit woes

Activity in the mortgage market remained largely stable in the final month of 2018, despite uncertainty surrounding the impact of Brexit on potential homebuyers. 

In the latest money and credit figures released today (January 30) the Bank of England found £4.1bn was secured against property in December last year, slightly above average compared with the previous six months. 

Mortgage approvals for house purchases in December remained unchanged from November at 63,800, but there was a slight drop from the year's average of 65,200.  

Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, said it is no surprise mortgage lending has remained steady as borrowers remain cautious waiting for decisive news on Brexit.  

He said: "Advisers can help to boost activity in the meantime, though, by explaining which mortgage products are most suitable for their client's individual circumstances right now – and fixing can provide certainty during this uncertain time."

However, Mr Seal warned that certain borrowers, such as those who are self-employed, contractors or freelancers, may struggle to access lending more than others.

He said: "These workers already make up 16 per cent of the UK workforce, and this figure is only set to grow.

"It is therefore essential that advisers are working alongside specialist lenders to service this community, since many high-street lenders cannot, or won’t.

"By taking this approach, the market will be able to reassure borrowers that there is a mortgage solution out there for everyone."

Conor Murphy, chief executive at mortgage platform Smartr365, said while Brexit is acting as a drag on transaction volumes, mortgage technology is reaching a "tipping point" in 2019.

He said: "We feel there is a huge opportunity here for advisers to use technology to improve not just their business, but their clients’ experience. 

"The closer we can come to creating a frictionless mortgage journey for customers, advisers and lenders, the better the outlook for the mortgage market will be." 

Mr Murphy said despite mortgage approvals witnessed a festive dip in December, the fundamentals of the market remain solid with a strong demand for the right mortgage advice.  

He added: "Lenders are well-capitalised and the industry is constantly expanding the product offerings available for buyers."