UK mortgage approvals hit 66-month high

29th October 2013

Mortgage approvals rose to a 66-month high in September according to numbers from the Bank of England.

The Bank of England has reported that approvals rose to 66,735 from 63,396 in August, 61,534 in July, 58,786 in June and a five-month low of 52,139 in February.

Mortgage approvals were up 33.8% year-on-year from 49,848 in September 2012.

Despite the rise, approvals were still below their long-term average levels where they have averaged 84,633 a month since 1993. They had averaged as high as 118,969 a month during 2006 and 104,212 during 2007.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight says: “The marked increase in mortgage approvals in September reported by the Bank of England indicates that housing market activity was already improving markedly even before the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme came into being in early October.

“It is evident that activity is being supported by markedly improved consumer confidence, elevated employment and extended low mortgage interest rates and is being fuelled by the Funding for Lending Scheme and the first stage of the Help to Buy initiative. On top of this, the Bank of England has indicated that interest rates are unlikely to rise before mid-2016, which seems likely to give many people greater confidence in their ability to purchase a house.”

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