Fears over a property bubble with over inflated prices causing many people to borrow more in order to get on the housing ladder. It is a 6 year high for house sales, the highest peak since 2008.
The increase can be related to more relaxed credit lending and a more confident consumer. Over Christmas lending was almost double of that in the same period in the previous year.
Growing availability of affordable mortgages has released some pent-up demand from a market that, in recent years, has seen many viable buyers unable to enter the market, said Peter Bolton-King director at RICS. On the face of it, this seems like good news but unless we see a marked increase in the number of homes coming up for sale we could well be looking at a price rises becoming unsustainable in some areas.
Mortgage approvals are on the increase, lending is up approximately 15 percent when compared to the same period in the previous year. If you look further into this, this can also be attributed to government schemes aimed to help first time buyers through shared equity schemes.
Update June 2016:
Mortgage lending rates have seen a fall since the rush to beat stamp duty changes announced in the last budget came to an end.
There was a spike in mortgage lending during March as the new higher stamp duty rates changes date approached, followed by a sharp drop during April. These changes caused a rush on the housing market as people were trying to snap up available properties before the stamp duty increases came into effect.
According to recently released figures from the British Bankers’ Association, a total of 78,301 loans were approved during April, which was down almost 5,000 in number from 82,971 mortgages approved during March. Loan values also slumped, falling to £10.9bn in April from £16.1bn in March.
While the sharp rise and fall in mortgage approvals can be attributed to the changes in stamp duty, overall mortgage lending is still continuing to rise quickly on an annual basis. According to the figures there was a 5,000 increase in the number of loans granted in April 2016 when compared to April last year, and the value of those loans was worked out to be 12 percent higher year-on-year.
Landlords scrambling to buy up properties before the extra stamp duty rates came into effect meant that banks and building societies issued more loans during March this year than in any other month since November 2007.
Chief economists are predicting a brief slowdown of house sales across the housing market over the next few months as a result of the uncertainty over the EU Referendum. However, they expect a renewed rise in sales and house prices next year as the market settles down.
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