Mortgage approvals hit a nine-month high in December

 
Helen Cahill
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Homeowners have been taking advantage of low interest rates (Source: Getty)

The Bank of England's mortgage borrowing hit a nine-month high in December as the housing market recovered from the lull it experienced in the months after the Brexit vote.

At 67,898, the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases increased 10.7 per cent from the low (61,335) it hit in August.

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Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said that while there had been a "pick-up" in housing market activity, "it is hardly racing ahead". He said that house price growth would slow to three per cent this year.

Remortgaging hit its highest level for eight years, with 47,721 approvals made, as homeowners sought to take advantage of the Bank of England's rock-bottom base rate.

In total in December, there were 128,823 mortgage approvals, with a total value of £21bn.

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Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: "The Bank of England's figures clearly show a strong end to the year for the mortgage market.

"It is particularly encouraging to see so many savvy borrowers taking the initiative and saving themselves a potentially significant sum of money by swapping their existing mortgage deal.

“Now that the busy festive period is behind us, those borrowers that have not yet remortgaged should get in contact with a broker who can offer the professional advice they need to find a more favourable deal."

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