Mortgages  

Mortgage borrowing reached record high in March

Mortgage borrowing reached record high in March
 Credit: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Mortgage borrowing reached record levels in March, with the expected conclusion of the stamp duty holiday at the end of that month.

Data published by the Bank of England today (May 4) showed net mortgage borrowing reached £11.8bn in March.

The figure is the highest on record since the data series began in April 1993, and up from the previous peak of £10.4bn in October 2006.

According to the BoE, strong borrowing was driven by the expected end of the stamp duty holiday, which was later extended to the end of June.

The Bank added that strength in mortgage borrowing followed a large number of approvals for house purchase at 82,700 in March, although down from a peak of 103,100 in November.

Indeed Martin Stewart, director at London Money, said the implications of a stamp duty “cliff edge” in June were starting to be seen.

Stewart said: “Mortgages are being agreed in huge numbers but that doesn't necessarily equate to completed sales. We are already seeing solicitors refusing to take work on where the buyer is expecting them to complete in time.”

The record high mortgage borrowing in March comes as Nationwide’s house price index showed prices in April saw their biggest monthly rise in 17 years after the stamp duty holiday was extended.

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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