“Today’s mortgage approval figures show the last nine months have brought a series of peaks and troughs that are out of line with the usual seasonal patterns. After reaching almost 125,000 approvals in January, it was entirely predictable that numbers would fall as the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) took effect. However, subsequent activity shows we are yet to settle back into stable growth, with another peak in July followed by two months of decline.
“Clearly there are exceptional circumstances still impacting the market, with the arrival of lending caps and higher stress tests hot on the heels of MMR. With base rate speculation also impacting consumer appetite and product pricing, there have been forces pulling in opposite directions – making it difficult to judge the overall path of travel and what ‘normal’ activity looks like under MMR._
“What’s clear is that house prices are not causing the same concerns that they were at the beginning of summer and mortgage businesses have also negotiated a period of significant change without the market falling away. What must now follow is a period of review to ensure that the recovery remains on track and that brokers are still equipped with the products they need to meet customer needs.”_
For further information please contact:
Andy Lane / William Muir, The Wriglesworth Consultancy
Notes to Editors
The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) is the trade association that represents mortgage lenders who lend to UK consumers and businesses via the broker channel. Its membership of 41 banks, building societies and specialist lenders include 16 of the 20 largest UK mortgage lenders (measured by gross lending) and account for about 90% of mortgage lending (89.4% of balances and 90.6% of gross lending).