According to the Bank of England, there were 715,300 house purchase approvals up to November 2020, compared with 722,000 during the same period in 2019
Mortgage approvals were at a 13-year high in November, Bank of England figures show.
Some 105,000 loans for house purchases got the go-ahead, up from 98,300 in October and marking the highest monthly figure since August 2007.
The surge in approvals meant that by November, they had nearly caught up with levels recorded in 2019 – despite the housing market effectively being shut during the first Covid-19 lockdown.
There were 715,300 house purchase approvals up to November 2020, compared with 722,000 during the same period in 2019, the Bank said.
Mark Harris, of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said home buyers had been motivated by the stamp duty holiday, which ends on March 31, as well as the desire to move to a different location.
Mr Harris added: We expect mortgage rates to remain competitive into the spring as borrowers attempt to take advantage of the stamp duty concession.
Andrew Montlake, managing director at mortgage broker Coreco, said: The closing stages of 2020 were among the busiest we’ve ever been as a broker. That looks set to continue in the first quarter, too, ahead of the looming stamp duty deadline. But he added: Many prospective buyers with small deposits are now fully aware that their chances of getting a mortgage agreed are remote.
Looking at non-mortgage borrowing, the Bank said consumer credit contracted by 6.7% annually in November – marking a new low since records started in 1994.
Consumer credit includes borrowing using credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts.
Borrowing using credit cards fell by 14.5% annually – which was also a new low on the Bank’s records.
The Bank’s Money and Credit report said that since the start of March, households have repaid £17.3 billion-worth of consumer credit.
This article is for information purposes only.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
There is no obligation to purchase anything but, if you decide to do so, you are strongly advised to consult a professional adviser before making any investment decisions.