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First figures of 2022 show housing market returning to normal

The latest figures for mortgage approvals show demand as being relatively unchanged - a development welcomed by agents.

House purchase mortgage approvals in November, the new Bank of England data available, ran at 66,964 - roughly the same as a month earlier.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says this figure shows approvals returning to near pre-Covid averages.

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He says: “Certainly we are finding in our offices much the same pattern as buyers and sellers shrug off the loss of the stamp duty holiday and get down to business in the new year, especially as supply and demand are beginning to match up more closely.”

And Anthony Codling, the PropTech entrepreneur behind Twindig and a long-standing market analyst, says: “It appears that after the stamp duty holiday activity in the UK housing market has quickly returned to normal. Perhaps, when it comes to moving home, macroeconomic events do not impact household decisions as much as we may believe. If you have changed job or your family has outgrown its current home, concerns about inflation and Covid are secondary, and if you have to move, you generally do.”

Meanwhile the remortgage approval figure increased from 42,000 in October to 44,500 in November.

“This data only captures those moving to another lender and not product transfers, of which there are likely to be many” explains SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris.

“A significant pick-up in remortgaging is expected this year as the threat of interest rate rises combines with many people coming off existing mortgage deals” he continues.

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