Mortgage approvals rise again

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The number of new mortgages approved for home buyers in the UK has risen for the third month in a row.

According to Bank of England data, 43,200 mortgages were approved in May compared to a low point of just 27,500 in November – an increase of 57%. Additionally, the year on year change in the number of mortgages approved turned positive for the first time since the early part of 2007. A year ago only a little more than 39,000 mortgages were sanctioned. 

The figures were welcomed by RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn, but he still sounded a word of caution. He commented: “The improving picture still needs to be kept in some context. Recent numbers have been far lower than would typically be expected even in the midst of a recession, and it is still unclear how rising unemployment levels will affect any recovery.  

“Significantly, the positive trend in the RICS ‘new buyer enquiries’ series from the monthly Housing Market Survey suggests that activity should continue to improve over the next few months. We continue to expect the volume of mortgages approved to increase to the 60,000 to 65,000 area by the end of the year despite the continuing obstacles to first-time buyers accessing the market.”

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