Mortgage lending sees slow start to year

Mortgage lending sees slow start to year

Mortgage lending had a slow start to the year, with February figures being down on the previous month, latest data from UK Finance has shown.

Gross mortgage lending increased 2.5 per cent year-on-year in February 2019 but was down on January 2019, at £19.1bn compared with £22.4bn.

Mortgage lending by the main high street banks in particular had decreased, from 13.4bn in January to £11.2bn in February 2019.

Jazz Jhumat, financial adviser at Danestone Mortgages and Financial Services, said: "I’m not surprised by the drop in high street mortgage lending.

"We’re doing far more specialist lending, including some small adverse. The smaller building societies are also offering more innovative products, especially for older borrowers, while high net worth clients are looking to more specialist lenders also.

"Overall, it’s been a busy start to the year, but uncertainty is playing a part in the mixed picture we’re seeing."

The number of mortgage approvals for house purchases increased to 33,621 in February 2019 from 29,159 the previous month, while remortgaging approvals hit 24,281, up from 23,618 in January 2019.

The figures also revealed credit card spending grew 1.1 per cent year-on-year to £9.7bn, while the outstanding level of credit card borrowing grew by 4.3 per cent in the 12 months to February 2019, to £44.2bn.

Uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations and the current economic climate have increased pressure on the housing market, leading to some lenders pulling their funding for mortgages.

In February Secure Trust pulled the plug on new mortgage lending, after Fleet Mortgages pulled its entire product range in January.