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Mortgage approvals hit four-month high – will activity keep rising?

The level of mortgage approvals hit a four-month high in November, Bank of England data reveals.

There were 50,067 mortgage approvals in November, the latest figures show, up 4.5% on a monthly basis and by 9.9% annually.

The annual figures are skewed by the post mini-Budget 2022 period though when the market slumped.


It was just the fourth time that approvals exceeded 50,000 in 2023 but was the highest level since the previous July.

The figures may raise hopes of a busier housing market for sales and comes as lenders have been cutting mortgage rates.

Commenting on the data, Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: "These figures make impressive reading for those seeking further confirmation of the housing market’s resilience for two reasons. 

“Firstly, they cover a period of continuing turmoil from a few months ago when inflation and interest rates remained stubbornly high.

"Secondly, these numbers don’t include over a third of transactions which are financed by cash or existing resources.

“With the cost of living and mortgage rates starting to ease, we have seen an improvement in confidence and more interest from buyers and sellers in our offices after returning from the holiday.”                          

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, added:  “The logic is simple: demand for mortgages has risen in recent weeks as rates have fallen. With inflation under 4% and money markets pricing in multiple rate cuts this year, we expect housing market activity to keep rising from a low base, which will put upwards pressure on prices. 

“The election may cause some temporary hesitation among buyers and sellers but the economic convulsions of recent years appear to be increasingly behind us.”


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