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Over 10% drop in mortgage approvals

The number of mortgage loans approved by banks fell year-on-year for the ninth consecutive month in March.

Data from the British Bankers’ Association - which includes lending by the UK’s six major banking groups, shows that they granted 72,074 mortgages in March, which is higher than in February of this year but is 10.3 per cent below the 80,375 approved in March 2014.

Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients - previously known as Savills Private Finance - says that “while numbers are down on the same month last year for house purchases and remortgaging, that was a frenzied time for the market and we now see a more considered phase, which is also likely to be more sustainable.”

He also predicts lower rates and comnpetition between lenders will attract borrowers later this year. 

“Lenders have ambitious targets for the year and in order to achieve them will either have to compete on rates or loosen criteria. While many are not yet prepared to do the latter, they are tightening margins and cutting rates across the loan-to-value curve” he suggests.

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