The number of people being approved for a mortgage last month hit its highest level in 10 years, according to new figures, suggesting the possibility of a no-deal Brexit has spurred both home-seekers and remortgagers into action.
Trade body UK Finance said 95,126 mortgages were approved by the main high street banks in July 2019 – the most since July 2009, when just under 100,000 applications were given the green light.
Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker Coreco, said: ‘July was the month when the odds of a no-deal Brexit got a lot shorter and this clearly incentivised people to act.
95,126 mortgages were approved by the main high street banks in July 2019, the most since July 2009, when just under 100,000 applications were given the green light
‘Borrowers have become increasingly worried that lenders could easily pull down the shutters in the event of a disorderly Brexit and also increase their rates so they’re getting on with it.’
Remortgage approvals were the biggest driver of growth, but new home purchases also contributed to the rise.
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Compared to the same month last year, home purchases loans were 16.4 per cent higher, remortgage approvals up 19.4 per cent and other secured borrowing 12.7 per cent higher.
Tim Waterlow, development director of lifetime mortgage provider Responsible Lending, said: ‘Mortgage approvals haven’t reached these dizzying heights since the depths of the financial crash so it’s quite remarkable it’s taken us a decade to get here.
‘This fact alone drives home the long-lasting impact the crash has had on the housing market and, with murmurings around Europe of more economic turmoil, lenders will be hoping this is not a peak before yet another collapse.’