Tuesday 29 October 2019 10:29 am

Mortgage approvals boosted as buyers rush ahead of Brexit

Mortgage approvals were boosted last month as prospective buyers rushed to complete home purchases ahead of the 31 October Brexit deadline date. 

The latest figures from the Bank of England (BoE) showed mortgage approvals for house purchases reached 65,919 in September after falling to a three-month low of 65,681 the previous month. 

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High rates of employment could also explain the rise, which put approvals for new mortgages within the 63,000 to 68,000 range that has held since late 2016, analysts said.

However, the rate of lending failed to reach the 17-month peak of 67,011 reported in July. 

Remortgage approvals also strengthened to 49,000 in the month. 

Net mortgage borrowing by households was £3.8bn last month, with an unchanged annual growth rate of 3.2 per cent. 

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY Item Club, said: “It is possible that mortgage activity may have been lifted to July’s high by some people looking to complete their house purchases before Brexit was due to occur on 31 October given the major uncertainties as to what would actually happen then. 

“Markedly improved earnings growth in tandem with recent record high employment may also have provided some recent support to housing market activity.”

Read more: Mortgage approvals grow despite Brexit uncertainty

Andrews Property Group head of financial services Sam Harhat added: “Mortgage numbers are a long way off their record highs but approvals are proving exceptionally resilient given the environment we’re in. 

“In many respects, the lack of visibility around Brexit is focusing people’s minds. Prospective buyers are genuinely worried about missing the boat if a deal gets done and house prices quickly rebound.”

Main image credit: Getty