Belfast Telegraph

Nine-year high for mortgages

By Staff Reporter

Mortgage lenders reported their strongest September since 2007 as borrowers snapped up low-rate deals.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said an estimated £20.5bn of home loans were handed out in September, marking the highest figure for the month of September since 2007, when lending reached £29.9bn.

However, lending was down by 7%, compared with August, when mortgages totalling £22.1bn were advanced to borrowers.

Many mortgage lenders have been offering their lowest ever rates and the recent cut in the Bank of England base rate to 0.25% has made some borrowers' deals even cheaper.

CML senior economist Mohammad Jamei said a recent survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed new buyer inquiries had begun to increase for the first time since February this year.

"Remortgage activity looks set to grow, helped by attractively priced mortgage deals encouraging borrowers to refinance," he added.

But he claimed prospects for activity among home buyers looked "slightly subdued when compared to the same period a year ago".

"Despite this, housing market sentiment continued to improve in September, after recovering in August," Mr Jamei explained.

"We expect a modest rise in approvals, though at levels lower than seen earlier this year, as the lack of properties on the market continues to bear down on borrowers."

Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, said despite uncertainty following the EU vote, September had been a busy month.

Belfast Telegraph