Mortgage approvals for house purchase hit four-year high

Estate agents could be set for busy months ahead as Bank of England data shows mortgage approvals for house purchase hit a four-year high last month.

This suggests more potential buyers are securing finance in the hope of getting on the property ladder.

Bank of England figures show mortgage approvals for house purchase rose to 70,888 in January, the highest since February 2016.

The figure was up from 67,930 in December and above the previous six-month average of 66,369.

Commenting on the figures, Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker Coreco, said: “A combination of Brexit lethargy in the closing stages of 2019 and Boris Johnson’s landslide General Election win saw a major bounce back for mortgage approvals in January.

“During November and the first half of December many people sought to get their houses in order before the nation went to the polls. Once the General Election result was in even more people started to make their move.

“Home owners and prospective buyers alike are wary of future house price rises and are seeking to buy property before the market moves against them.

“People are also locking into the exceptional fixed rates currently available.

“The big question is how long the Boris Bounce lasts, as while there is a sense of optimism at present that could fade very quickly if trade negotiations turn sour.

“The hope is that Brexit is now firmly behind us but there is still the potential for significant volatility as the year progresses.”

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