Mortgage lending in residential market hits £265.8bn in 2019

There was £22.2bn in gross mortgage lending across the residential market in December 2019, bringing the annual total for the year to £265.8bn, new figures published by UK Finance revealed.

While the annual figure was 1.1% lower than in 2018, UK Finance suggested the last two years had ‘broadly reflected’ the continuation of a stronger long-term lending trend over recent years.

The latest figures also revealed that an annual total of 982,286 mortgages were approved by the main high street banks during 2019 – 7.4% more than in 2018. The number of mortgages approved for home purchases over the full year also increased, by 8.0%, while remortgage approvals were 7.9% higher, and approvals for other secured borrowing were 3.0% higher than in 2018.

Commenting on the latest UK Finance figures, Proposition Director at PRIMIS Mortgage Network, Vikki Jefferies, said: “After a more subdued end to 2019, today’s figures show that market activity remains stable. For those who can afford a house deposit, ongoing low interest rates will work in their favour.

“What’s more, going through an intermediary will enable borrowers to take advantage of the range of deals out there – some of which may not be available via an execution-only route.

“As today’s figures indicate, remortgaging continues to be an attractive option for borrowers, and advisers can be capitalising on this to ensure that more of their clients take advantage of the low rates available.”

The UK Finance figures also revealed that personal deposits grew by 2.5% in the year to December 2019, and that three-quarters of all deposits were held in immediate access accounts during December, in line with the same period last year.

Personal borrowing through loans in December 2019 was 14.0% higher than a year earlier, which UK Finance suggested was reflecting the exceptionally weak demand seen in December 2018.

Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, Richard Pike, added: “We saw a rise in first-time buyer activity throughout the year and the mere fact that overall home purchase numbers increased, and not by an insignificant amount, is demonstration that not everyone was resting on their laurels waiting for some sort of certainty last year.

“As we head into a more stable environment politically, it will be interesting to see how the market fairs and how far the government will go to help the housing market in the long term.”

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