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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Mortgage approvals dip but first time buyers are up slightly

Figures just released assessing February’s mortgage borrowing show that approvals are 1.25 per cent lower than in January, and are down 2.6 per cent compared to February 2017.

But chartered surveyor firm e.surv, which has released the data, says that when broken down by customer type there was good news for first-time buyers and others with small deposits. 

Between January and February, the proportion of loan approval going to this segment of the market increased very slightly from 21.0 per cent to 21.1 per cent.

While this increase is small, both figures are higher than the averages seen in the market recently. In December 2017, 18.2 per cent of loans were to small deposit borrowers while the month before it was just 17.2 per cent.

e.surv says there were 66,364 mortgages approved (seasonally adjusted) during February this year, and although this is lower than usual the dip has come after what the company calls “two stellar months for the UK mortgage market.”

e.surv director Richard Sexton says: “Activity is expected to pick up again in future months as existing homeowners continue to feel the cost of increased mortgage payments in their pockets. 

“Attention will also turn to when the next base rate rise takes place, with many experts predicting this for the late spring or early summer. However, with the recent Spring Statement announcing Stamp Duty relief has helped over 60,000 first-time buyers, market conditions are still very favourable right now for those looking to take their first steps.” 

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