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Mortgage numbers dip but market ‘stronger than in late 2017’

The latest mortgage snapshot from e.surv has reinforced recent claims from other sources that London’s housing market remains the most difficult anywhere in the UK.

Yesterday the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors highlight London as the most challenging market in the country; now e.surv - a subsidiary of LSL Property Services - says the capital is the toughest market for first time buyers and other purchasers who have only small deposits.

Small deposits are categorised as under 40 per cent.


Across the UK there were 66,614 mortgages of all kinds approved during March - around 4.2 per cent up on February but down 1.3 per cent on the figure recorded a year ago.

Across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland some 19.6 per cent of all mortgage approvals were to those with smaller deposits.

While this figure is down on the 21.1 per cent recorded last month, it remains higher than the most recent low in the market. Back in December last year only 18.2 per cent of loans were to small deposit borrowers while in November this figure was just 17.2 per cent.

The Yorkshire region saw a greater proportion of small deposit borrowers than any other part of the UK in March; some 30.3 per cent of all approvals in the region went to first- time buyers and others with small deposits this month.

In Northern Ireland 29.4 per cent of all loans went to this segment of the market while the North West rounded out the top three with 26.9 per cent.

These three areas were the only to record more than a quarter of loans going to small deposit buyers.

Yorkshire was the sole region to have a greater proportion of small deposit borrowers than large deposit ones. It saw 24 per cent of its mortgages go to those with larger cash piles during March – the lowest ratio in the country.

London continues to be dominated by those with larger deposits. Other areas which had a high proportion of large deposit buyers were the South East (38.6 per cent), the South and South Wales (36.5 per cent) and Eastern England 36.3 per cent.

“While the proportion of loans being given to first time buyers has declined month on month, this month’s data shows the overall market is in a much stronger position than at the end of 2017” insists Richard Sexton, director at e.surv.


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