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Lenders 'expecting lower demand for mortgages in wake of Brexit vote'

Published 13/07/2016

Lenders did not expect mortgage rates to change markedly, but some said credit conditions could tighten if there was a deterioration in the economic outlook
Lenders did not expect mortgage rates to change markedly, but some said credit conditions could tighten if there was a deterioration in the economic outlook

Lenders are expecting a drop-off in demand for mortgages, personal loans and business lending in the coming months, following the vote to leave the EU, according to a Bank of England report.

The Bank's Credit Conditions Review said that in discussions after the referendum, major lenders expected mortgage availability to be "little changed" in the near term - but they also anticipated that demand for mortgages would fall.

Lenders did not expect mortgage rates to change markedly - but s ome lenders said credit conditions could tighten if there was a deterioration in the economic outlook. This could make it tougher for some people to get a particular mortgage deal.

The review said that as with mortgage lending, most major UK lenders expect that demand for non-mortgage lending, such as that using credit cards and personal loans, would fall in the near term.

Alongside the review, the Bank also released its quarterly Credit Conditions Survey of banks and building societies. The survey was conducted before the EU referendum vote, between May 23 and June 10.

The survey found demand for mortgage lending for house purchase had increased significantly in the second quarter of 2016 - particularly for prime lending.

In the Credit Conditions Survey, lenders had said they were expecting overall mortgage demand to increase slightly in the coming three months.

Lenders had also reported an increased willingness to lend to people with smaller deposits of less than 10% in the second quarter of 2016.

The availability of non-mortgage credit to households, such as personal loans, showed signs of increasing in the three months to mid-June. Lenders had continued to loosen their credit scoring criteria and the proportion of loans being approved increased, the survey found.

Meanwhile, the overall availability of credit to the corporate sector was reported to be generally unchanged in the second quarter of 2016, continuing a trend seen for the last two years.

Lenders also reported that the availability of credit to the commercial real estate sector fell for the first time in four years.

Demand for corporate lending decreased significantly for large companies in the three months to mid-June, the survey found. Demand for lending from small businesses increased, while demand for lending from medium-sized firms lifted slightly.

The Bank's Credit Conditions Review said that in discussions conducted after the referendum, the major UK lenders expected the availability of credit to the corporate sector to remain steady, although a further tightening was expected for the commercial real estate sector.

The review said that in discussions following the vote, the major UK lenders thought there was likely to be a slowdown in demand for credit in the near term from both large corporates and SMEs, partly reflecting some investment decisions being delayed and mergers and acquisitions activity slowing.

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