Home lending slowed in May as the EU referendum cast a shadow over the property market

Helen Cahill
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The EU referendum is taking its toll on home lending (Source: Getty)

Home lending slowed in May ahead of the EU referendum as political uncertainty cast a shadow over the property market.

There were 65,113 house purchase approvals in May, down 1.7 per cent from 66,250 in April - a 12-month low.

This decline means house purchased approvals have fallen by more than 10 per cent over the last three months.

Large-deposit borrowers made up nearly a thirds of the lending market in May, at 30.7 per cent, while small-deposit lending fell to 18.4 per cent, according to e.surv's Mortgage Monitor.

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The drop in home lending follows similar declines in April, down 5.8 per cent, and March, down 3.0 per cent, as the upcoming vote on Britain's membership of the EU is prompting buyers to be cautious. The rental market is also set to cool off a bit in the coming months.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: "Lenders may need to navigate choppier waters over the next couple of months, but for now the mortgage market remains on an even keel.

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"Homebuyers have more options than ever as lenders work to expand their range of mortgage options further. New mortgages with longer repayment terms and innovative intergenerational mortgages are offering financial buoyancy aids for buyers.

"But the EU referendum is causing some nervousness within financial circles and bringing new unknown's with it. This political milestone could impact the UK's economic outlook."

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