This June 2019, there were 66,400 mortgage approvals and this overtook the highest number of monthly approvals this year from January. Interestingly, results separate to that of the Bank of England, conducted by NAEA Propertymark, found that whilst this year has hit the highest levels of mortgage approvals, June also saw a slight decrease in people looking for houses.
This information gives a lot of confidence to the rising number of online direct lenders in the mortgage space, including huge volumes done by the likes of Mojo Mortgages, Habito and Trussle.
House hunters were measured by those registered with an estate agent, and decreased throughout the month from 307 to 305. These figures are incredibly similar to findings from the previous year (June 2018), in which results showed an average 308 house hunters. This goes to further to show encouraging signs that some components of the housing market are staying consistently active throughout this period of Brexit-fuelled uncertainty.
The chief economic adviser of EY Item Club Howard Archer commented on these results, stating that “Despite being at a five-month high of 66,440 in June, mortgage approvals were well in the 63,000 to 68,000 range that has broadly held since late 2016.” Mr Archer commented further on this, claiming that “they were also not that far above the average of 65,267 seen over the first half of 2019”.
In spite of approvals for mortgages being at their highest point for this year, the percentage of sales made to first-time buyers has gone down from June 2018’s 29% to June 2019’s 23%. This decrease is not only reflected on a year by year scale, but can also be seen throughout the beginning half of 2019, the rate of first-time buyers decreasing from 26% to 23% from May to June respectively.
The chief executive of NAEA Propertymark Mark Hayward has also made public statements on the results found by the company, claiming as follows: “Although we’ve seen a slight drop in supply and demand, the housing market is still stronger than expected, showing signs of resilience amid political uncertainty.”
Mr Hayward further stated that “The warmer months can often result in the market quietening down, but we’re not yet experiencing this just yet as demand remains high for the year.” And that “We’ll need to see if this trend continues over the next few month before we can conclusively say that confidence in the market has returned.”
Whilst the approvals for this type of home loan credit are at healthy levels for this year, the amount of consumer credit annually accrued from such things as credit cards and personal loans is at a five-year low. According to figures reported by the Bank of England, consumer credit saw an increase of 5.5% in June, this being the smallest annual growth the country has seen in five years.
EY Item Club’s Howard Archer has made further comments on these results of the country’s annual consumer credit growth, stating that he feels households “have seemingly become relatively careful in their borrowing amid concerns over the economic outlook” and that “It is also evident that consumer credit growth has recently been limited by markedly weaker private car sales as this has reduced demand for car finance.”