The number of mortgages approved by High Street banks increased 5.4 per cent to 44,000 in April.
Data from trade body UK Finance shows that approvals for home purchase were 8.6 per cent higher than in April 2018 while remortgage approvals rose by 2.2 per cent.
However, gross mortgage lending across the residential market was £20.3 billion that’s 1.4 per cent lower than the same month in 2018.
Agents are understandably buoyed by the news.
“It is a positive and once again demand proves to be more resilient, which it should be at this time of year. These figures are a little bit historic so looking forward, the political uncertainty is likely to weigh more heavily on results in the coming months so let’s enjoy it while we can” says London agent and former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf.
“[The] numbers are welcome relief from negativity and uncertainty that many commentators have portrayed since the early days of Brexit. Buyer confidence is shrugging off the political shenanigans that would otherwise seek to paralyse our economy and the housing market. House prices, especially in the north, are seeing no signs of relenting and mortgage approvals being so buoyant is bound to now factor in to higher prices in a few months time” explains Shepherd Ncube, founder and chief executive of Manchester-based Springbok Properties agency.
And Mike Scott, chief property analyst of online estate agency Yopa says: “These are mortgage approvals, not completions, and they will take several months to work their way through to completed house purchases. This is therefore an early sign that housing market activity is likely to be healthy in the second half of this year, although there may be another slowdown as the new Brexit deadline of October 31 approaches.”