In good news for UK house hunters, mortgage approvals are on the up. Figures for November from UK Finance, the trade body for lenders, show steady increases in lending for first-time buyers and movers compared to the previous month and the same period a year earlier.
Many buyers are moving swiftly to secure a low mortgage interest rate, following the first base rate rise in almost a decade in November. And the positive figures on lending reflect a possible upturn in housing market activity this year after what experts had described as a "flat" 2017.
In December, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) had reported demand in the UK property market had begun to stabilise after its members, all chartered surveyors, had indicated fewer instructions and "subdued prices". Last year also saw record low stock levels of property for sale on estate agents' books.
Boost to 1st-time buyers
However, the rise in mortgage approvals could boost both first-time buyers and those looking to move.
Paul Smee, head of mortgages at UK Finance, said: "The data shows housing market activity remains buoyant, despite November's rise in the base rate. Steady increases in lending for house purchases, together with increases in homeowner remortgages, reflect a keenness among consumers to benefit from still historically low interest rates and a highly competitive marketplace."
A total of £5.6 billion was allocated to 34,800 new first-time buyer mortgages. According to UK Finance, the average first-time buyer is 30 years old and earns £40,000 a year.
In November, 36,200 new home mover mortgages were given the ok, up 16.8 percent on the same month in 2016. And the £7.5bn of lending agreed was up almost a fifth year on year, at 19 percent.
And remortgaging continues to be popular as 38,400 new remortgages were agreed, up 8.5 percent on November 2016 and at a value of £6.5bn.
Access low-cost conveyancing services
If you've secured your mortgage and are ready to move in 2018, make Homeward Legal your first port of call to access fast, low-cost conveyancing services. Call now on or get a free, no-obligation quote now.