Latest mortgage figures suggest resilience despite Brexit uncertainty

Latest mortgage figures suggest resilience despite Brexit uncertainty

The latest figures on mortgage lending suggest that higher house prices led to greater lending in June this year than 12 months ago - this was despite uncertainty before the EU referendum and despite the number of transactions dipping over the year. 

"This month's high street banking data reflects the uncertainty that was felt ahead of the referendum," explains Dr Rebecca Harding, chief economist at the British Banking Association, which produced these new figures.

"Mortgage lending and approvals fell back in June but remain above the low levels seen in April following the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge. Overall, business confidence was clearly fragile in anticipation of the outcome of the vote," she says.

"But these results are not a verdict on the health of the economy post-Brexit. We won't start to see that data come through until the autumn and any trends before then should not be over-interpreted," Harding cautions.

Gross mortgage borrowing of £12.2 billion in June was some four per cent higher than in June 2015. Borrowing in the first half of 2016 was £79.9 billion compared with £63.6 billion in the same period of 2015.

Net mortgage borrowing is three per cent higher than a year ago.

House purchase approval numbers have bounced back a little from the low numbers seen in April, following the 'surcharge' surge in the first few months of 2016, but are still some 11 per cent lower than in June 2015. 

However, the BBA says that in the first half of 2016 numbers were 5.5 per cent higher than in the same period of 2015.

Remortgaging approvals were 13 per cent higher than in June 2015.

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