Property News > The UK Mortgage Market in Decline

The UK Mortgage Market in Decline

House purchasing loans approved in January were at their lowest monthly level for two years and this shows a clear decline in the UK’s mortgage market. In January, £8.4 billion was borrowed by home buyers which is a massive 28% down on the total sum for December 2016. In total, some 45,700 loans were approved in January and advanced to home buyers which is also a 28% reduction when compared to December and a 1% decline year on year to January 2016 according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.Breaking down the figures; first time buyers borrowed approximately £3.6 billion (down 29% on Dec, up 9% year on year) where home movers borrowed the lion’s share at £4.9 billion. The number of home movers is also down on December by 25% and 4% in terms of year on year.The buy to let sector saw month on month increases of 11% by value and 12% by volume but there was a year on year decline according to CML’s figures. Remortgage lending was up by 22% value and 21% voume year on year with the month on month totals reaching a staggering 54% and 46% respectively.Experts anticipate a flat market in January and a dip during the winter months as a generalisation but the large activity in the remortgage market has skewed January’s figures somewhat. The lull in moving looks set to continue and research has been commissioned to investigate the stubborn trend.It would appear that many home owners are staying put rather than researching the market for available property which is limiting the number of suitable properties for those seeking to buy – the remortgaging market could have a huge impact moving forwards as the supply of property continues to dwindle.Despite the buy to let mortgage market being very strong in favour of the loanee; the buy to let market remains fairly weak. The affordability criteria used for such mortgages is expected to tighten over the coming months meaning the buy to let market will continue to suffer; especially with the forthcoming tax changes in April.The schemes put in place to support and promote first time buyers, such as the Help to Buy scheme, did help many get onto the property ladder but there are still many issues with the first time buying market. Deposit sums remain at challenging levels where mortgage rates are far lower than might be expected making the process simpler for those who are able to save or benefit from generous salaries.It seems that, with the UK mortgage market declining, tenants will be the ones who suffer the most as the Stamp Duty and tenant taxes will see progressively more landlords step away from the market to free up housing for those looking to buy and save themselves a lot of stress and expense over time.Landlords stepping away from their let properties will force tenants to consider a purchase approach to housing; one which many cannot afford. It remains to be seen if January’s slump will continue or if it has just been a blip that the market will overcome in time.

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