New data from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has revealed that UK mortgage approvals hit a 12-month high in January.
A total of 44,657 loans were approved last month, up from 43,581 in December – representative of the highest level of mortgage approvals since January 2016, and surpassing market analysts’ predictions of 41,900.
According to the BBA, gross mortgage borrowing was up 6.3 per cent year-on-year, totalling £13.8bn, while re-mortgage approvals rose 15.7 per cent year-on-year.
Eric Leenders, BBA managing director for Retail Banking, said: “The new year saw homeowners make the most of historically low interest rates by taking advantage of competitive re-mortgage offers.
“Nearly 29,000 of these deals were approved last month – 16 per cent higher than January last year”.
Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Markit, added: “Housing market activity has been helped off the lows seen around August by the resilience of the economy since June’s Brexit vote and the Bank of England cutting interest rates in August and launching the Term Funding Scheme”.
However, he suggested that “increasing economic uncertainty” was likely to “weigh down on consumer confidence and willingness to engage in major transactions” such as home-buying in coming months.