The number of mortgages approved in October was the lowest in over a year, according to recently released figures.
Economists have issued a warning that this could be the beginning of a slowdown in the property market. During October, the number of mortgages that got the thumbs up amounted to 40,488, in comparison to the previous month’s figure of 41,576. According to UK Finance, this is the lowest level during the last 13 months. Chief UK economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, Samuel Tombs, says the increase in interest rates by the Bank of England could have exacerbated this downturn in numbers.
Tombs added that the recent decision by the Chancellor to cut Stamp Duty for first-time buyers would probably have very little impact, as experts believe that the move may cause property prices to rise. A report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors indicated that the number of enquiries by first-time buyers had fallen during October. EY Item Club, a forecasting group, predicts that house prices will increase by 2% to 3% next year, as interest rates are still at low levels, there is a shortage of properties for sale, and employment levels are at a high.
October saw a rush of current homeowners making moves to switch to fixed-rate deals, thereby securing some of the lowest rates. Mortgage advisors have the necessary knowledge to help customers to find suitable deals, following an extensive period on CeMAP training courses throughout the country.