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Number of UK mortgages declined in January

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by Elaine Frei

Number of UK mortgages declined in January

According to the British Bankers Association (BBA) on Tuesday, the number of people taking out mortgages in January was down to its lowest level in two years. Despite the drop in the number of mortgages approved, the total amount borrowed to buy houses was up from January 2006.

The number of people taking mortgages in January was at 37,804, down from 45,000 in January 2006, a decline of around 1 percent. On the other hand, the amount borrowed was up 15 percent, from £14.5 billion in January of last year to £16.6 billion last month. That amount includes both first mortgages and remortgages.

The number of people taking out mortgages was affected by a one-time removal of about 7,000 loans that had been agreed to in the past, but even taking those into account, the number of loan approvals was down. Some analysts believe that the figures are an indication that recent interest rate increases by the Bank of England are beginning to have an effect on the housing market.

The figures from the BBA cover about half of UK lending for mortgages; data for all lenders will be released later in the week by the Bank of England.

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News posted: February 27, 2007

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