Mortgage approvals hit highest level in more than a year

Mortgage approvals hit highest level in more than a year

The number of mortgages approved in the UK has hit the highest level seen since the start of 2014, according to the latest report released by the Bank of England.

In July, the data shows, the number of mortgage approvals totalled some 68,764. This was a marked increase from the month before, and an impressive year on year increase. In total, the market has now recovered well from the low that was recorded back in November, when the mortgage numbers dipped as far as just over 59,000. 

Experts say that this shows the housing market is on the rise again, and that confidence in the sector is growing, meaning we should see sales figures climbing across the course of the next few months, taking house prices higher with them. 

At present, mortgage approvals have risen in five of the last seven months, and are now at a level that has not been seen since the very beginning of 2014. 

Net mortgage approvals also increased, up by £2.709 billion in July to hit the highest level of increase that has been seen at any time since the middle of 2008, showing just how quickly activity is now picking up in the market. 

Charles Haresnape, chairman of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), said that the latest figures also represent the highest rise we have seen at any point since the Mortgage Market Review last year. The review meant banks had to go into more depth when assessing whether or not someone was to be approved for a mortgage, initially making approval numbers drop off somewhat drastically. 

"With seven per cent more approvals compared with the six month average, it is a clear indication that health is returning to a market that has been under significantly pressure to perform while adjusting to new working practices," he said. 

"Rising approvals suggest consumer appetite is strong and lenders will also be striving to meet their end of year targets, which should support some competitive deals. We must hope that the impacts of change do not weigh down too heavily on what otherwise looks like a strengthening market recovery," Mr Haresnape added.