1.9% bounce for December residential mortgages

There were 66,253 residential mortgages approved during the final month of 2019, reflecting a 1.9% increase from November’s total, according to the latest figures from e.surv.

The total was also a 2.7% jump from the same month a year earlier, which e.surv, the residential chartered surveyor, attributed to the clear result in the general Election, putting an end to months of political uncertainty.

e.surv suggested first-time buyers had been major beneficiaries of low rates in recent months, but that existing homeowners had also taken advantage of the increased competition between mortgage lenders.

The latest data revealed interest rates in the remortgage market had fallen – which e.surv implied had tempted many borrowers to switch to a cheaper deal – as the proportion of mortgages approved to first-time buyers, and others with small deposits, fell from 27.7% to 25.5% during the month.

e.surv director, Richard Sexton, commented: “There have been ups and downs over the course of the year but 2019 ended on a positive note for the UK mortgage market.

“December’s decisive election result does seem to have put an end to the atmosphere of uncertainty which has dominated the property market this year.

“With more certainty on the future, it appears that many new buyers and existing homeowners have chosen to enter the market, leading to a spike in approvals in December.”

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