UK mortgage approvals jump

Loans for home purchases hit their highest since December 2009 in November, according to data out today from e.surv chartered surveyors, thanks largely to loose mortgage conditions. Purchase approvals rose from 52,743 in October to 54,658 in November on a seasonally adjusted basis – an increase of four per cent, and 15 per cent higher than in November 2010. In London, the rise was 18 per cent, reversing the 13 per cent decline in October. e.surv put the rise down to wealthier buyers stepping up purchasing activity. Loans for purchases above £500,000 accounted for 32 per cent of all lending compared with 11 per cent in October. Loan approvals for first time buyers in the capital decreased, however, with loans of £250,000 or less accounting for 43 per cent of approvals, down from 64 per cent in October. “The higher cost of renting in the capital, and stronger house price growth, make it more difficult for would-be buyers in London to piece together strong enough deposits to access mortgage finance,” said e.surv.