Belfast Telegraph

Mortgage approvals dip again after two-year high

By Vicky Shaw

Mortgage approvals have dropped off further from a two-year high seen earlier this year, fuelling speculation that house prices are likely to soften in the coming months.

There were 51,098 mortgage approvals for house purchase in May worth £7.6bn, the lowest figure since March and significantly down on a 25-month high in January, Bank of England figures showed.

At the beginning of this year, lenders and estate agents reported a rush of first-time buyers trying to beat a two-year stamp duty exemption deadline, which ended in March.

There were 58,728 loan approvals for house purchase in January, and lenders have said that the deadline had the effect of bunching up sales which would have otherwise happened later this year.

The number of approvals for re-mortgaging also fell back in May, to 29,244 loans worth £4bn.