March sees mortgage approvals up by 4%

Warren Lewis
12th April 2019
house stats

The latest data from e.surv has revealed that, during March, activity amongst first-time-buyers remained largely unchanged despite mortgage approvals rising.

According to data released this morning, mortgage approvals hit 66,174 during March, a rise of 4% on the year and a monthly rise of 2.9%. FTB activity showed a minor fall in market share from 26.3% in February to 26%.

Borrowers with larger deposits continued to feel the squeeze, with the proportion of loans going to this part of the market falling once again. 26.2% of all mortgages were taken out by this type of borrower in March, down on the 26.9% recorded in February.

This fall, coupled with the modest drop in small deposit lending, meant that mid-market borrowers were the main beneficiaries with almost half of all loans (47.8%) going to this segment of the market.

Yorkshire remains the best place for first-time buyers and others with small deposits to get onto the ladder, topping the table in each month so far in 2019.

Elsewhere, 32% of loans in the North West went to this market segment. All other regions scored below 30% in March.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, commented: “Mortgage rates have increased slightly compared to the rock-bottom lows of the last few years. However, rates are still close to their historic lows which is good news for those looking to take their first steps. This is reflected in the number of approvals this month.

With almost half of all mortgages going to mid-market borrowers, it is clear that many current homeowners are still coming to market for new loans. While most people have family and work ties which mean they must purchase a property in a specific area, for those able to choose where to live, Yorkshire is proving an attractive place to buy.

With low purchase prices and good first-time buyer affordability, the region was more tilted in favour of young borrowers than any other during March."

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