New mortgage approvals reach two year high

| February 29, 2012 | 0 Comments
New mortgage approvals reach two year high

Mortgage approvals have reached their highest level since December 2009 according to Bank of England figures.

58,728 home loans were approved in January 2012, a 30 per cent increase from January 2011, following increased activity among first-time buyers.

A two-year stamp duty exemption on properties between the value of £125,000 and £250,000 will end in March, and many first-time buyers are rushing to take advantage of the exemption before it ends.

Buyers have also been attracted by cheaper mortgage deals, with the base rate at a historic low of 0.5%.

Gross mortgage lending totalled £12.8 billion in January, higher than the six-month average.

However, approvals for remortgaging declined slightly to 31,952.

The rise in mortgage approvals suggests that property sales could increase in 2012, although the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) warned that there could be a dip in sales after the stamp duty exemption is lifted.

Continued economic uncertainty also makes the outlook uncertain for the property market, with high unemployment and low earnings growth making a house move or first-time purchase unaffordable for many, especially with many mortgages still requiring a high deposit.

The latest figures from the Land Registry show that house prices in England and Wales increased by 1.1 per cent in January.

In related news, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) received more mortgage complaints about the Bank of Scotland than any other bank.

The FOS received 884 mortgage complaints from Bank of Scotland customers between July and December 2011, and upheld 32 per cent of them in favour of the consumer.

Santander UK was the second most complained about mortgage provider, with 515 complaints of which 26 per cent were upheld.

Barclays was in third place, with 458 complaints and 41 per cent upheld.

In total, complaints about mortgages to the FOS increased by 38 per cent.

Tags: , , mortgage complaints, stamp duty exemption

Comments (0)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind.

Leave a Reply

Visited 36473 times, 90 so far today