Mortgage approvals increased by 9.3% in January

Written by Oliver Wade

Mortgage approvals for both property purchasing and remortgaging increased in January by 9.3% and 5.4% respectively, figures released by the Bank of England (BoE) revealed today.

Phoebus Software sales and marketing director Richard Pike commented: “This is very encouraging for the mortgage market and suggests that the stamp duty cut introduced in November for first time buyers is starting to have an impact. As approvals are up for remortgaging too, this could be a result of borrowers taking advantage of the good rates on offer at the moment before any rate rises.

“The figures also suggest that the nervousness around the political climate has been overegged. Brexit talks are uncertain and ongoing, but people still need to borrow, rates are low, so I think we will continue to see a rise in approvals going forward”.

However, despite the surge in mortgage approvals, StepChange Debt Charity head of policy Petter Tutton said: “The fact remains that household debt levels are high, with 620,000 people contacting us for help last year. There is no place for complacency about the state of household finances, with two fifths of the people we advised struggling to keep up with even basic bills like rent, utilities and council tax,

“With so many financially vulnerable households it is notable that credit card lending, the most common debt we see, has seen the fastest growth. As the FCA is just about to bring in new credit card rules to help millions of consumers stuck in persistent debt, card lenders still need to make sure lending is responsible and affordable”.

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