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Mortgage lending hit record highs before stamp duty holiday ended

The value of mortgage lending hit a record high in the final months of the stamp duty holiday.

Figures from the Bank of England show £89bn of mortgage lending was approved between April and June 2021, the highest figure since 2007.

Most were for house purchases by people who planned to live in the property - at 66.4 per cent.

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Of this group, 24.7 per cent were first time buyers, up 6.5 percentage points from a year earlier and 2.8 points higher than the start of the year.

The share advanced to home movers increased by 18.3 percentage poins on a year earlier, to 41.7 per cent.

Buy-to-let mortgages made up 11.3 per cent of the value of mortgage approvals in the second quarter of 2021, down 3.1 percentage points from a year earlier.

But commentators suggest this boom could be short-lived.

Mark Gilliver, business Development director at mortgage software provider the Target Group, said: “Throughout the pandemic, the mortgage market has been in a state of fluctuation, initially seeing a drop in demand during the first lockdown, but then experiencing a boom in demand thanks to the stamp duty holiday initiative.

“This in itself has led to heightened demand and therefore an increase in prices, forcing many to take out larger mortgages. Whilst some were able to build deposit nest eggs thanks to reduced outgoings, quarter two saw a boom in demand, as homebuyers looked to escape a costly tax bill.

“However, the Q2 results could be seen as outliers, as we are unlikely to see such a rush again for a while.

“With inflationary pressures and the threat of increased interest rates not far off, the next quarter could well tell a very different story. This could be a sign that the phase of bigger mortgages is on its way out now that the UK has reopened and spending on non-essentials items is reintroduced into the public’s budgets.”

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