Mortgage-backed transactions down by almost half since last year

Despite a degree of stability returning to the mortgage sector this year there’s still work to do, according to Octane Capital.

Related topics:  Finance,  Mortgages
Property | Reporter
27th June 2024
Mortgage 221
"Positivity alone won’t revive the market and, as it stands, there’s still some way to go before we see mortgage-fuelled market activity return to previous levels"
- Jonathan Samuels - Octane Capital

Octane Capital analysed mortgage sales volumes to reveal just what impact a hike in interest rates has had to buyer appetites since the closing stages of 2021.

Over the last three months (Dec 23 to Feb 24 - latest available), 61,968 mortgage-backed transactions were recorded across Britain. This total sits -49% below the total seen during the same period a year ago.

In fact, mortgage market activity across every area of the nation remains down year on year in this respect - bar one.

In Scotland, the volume of mortgage sales seen over the last three months sits almost identical to that seen this time last year.

Across every other area of Britain, mortgage sales volumes over the last three months have fallen by more than -50% versus this time last year, with the East of England seeing the largest drop at -56.5%.

Mortgage sector positivity has been high in 2024 and the latest mortgage approval data from the Bank of England shows that monthly approvals sat above the 60,000 mark for the third consecutive month in April. Sure signs that the sector is finding its feet following a hold on the base rate since September of last year.

The analysis by Octane Capital shows that a hold on the base rate has also spurred signs of positivity with respect to mortgage sales volumes.

During the second half of 2023, some 223,465 mortgage-backed transactions were completed across Britain, marking a 5.5% increase versus the first six months of the year.

The biggest uplift was seen across the South East, where there was a 10.7% jump in mortgage sales volumes during H2 compared to H1, with London not far behind with a 10.1% increase.

However, the last figures demonstrate that there is still quite some way to go before the mortgage sector returns to full strength.

CEO of Octane Capital, Jonathan Samuels, commented: “There is a growing air of positivity across the mortgage sector and this is hardly surprising with approvals sitting above the 60,000 mark for three consecutive months and the prospect of a base rate cut on the horizon.

"However, positivity alone won’t revive the market and, as it stands, there’s still some way to go before we see mortgage-fuelled market activity return to previous levels.

"This is likely to take some time yet and it’s fair to say the Bank of England’s over tentative approach to managing inflation is partly to blame. But we are heading in the right direction and we expect this market momentum to keep building as the year progresses.”

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