Housing market activity has been growing modestly since the start of the year according to UK Finance.
Market Commentary September 2017 published yesterday by UK Finance reveals estimate of gross mortgage lending for August is £24.2 billion, of which £15.1 billion was lent by High Street Banks. Accounting for seasonal factors, it is in the same ball park as monthly lending over the course of 2017.
They state: Housing market activity has been growing modestly since the start of the year, though the mix has shifted towards first-time buyers, away from buy-to-let and cash. There is evidence of some rebalancing across regions, as activity picks up in the north of England, Wales and Scotland, away from London, the south east and east Anglia.
In the report Mohammad Jamei, UK Finance’s senior economist, mentions: Housing market activity has been growing modestly since the start of the year. Overall activity resembles what we saw just over two years ago, in 2015.
The mix of activity under the aggregate figures has shifted though, so while property transactions have averaged just over 100,000 a month since the turn of the year, much of this is driven by first-time buyers, less so by cash and buy-to-let. This level of activity is not expected to change much in the short-term, as the leading indicator of activity – house purchase approvals – has now returned to where it was at the beginning of the year.
Later in the report he adds: On the remortgage side, strong competition and low funding costs has meant a growing number of home-owners are taking advantage of the near record low mortgage rates. We expect more home-owners to refinance in the coming months, as prospects of the first interest rate rise in over 10 years gains new impetus.
To read the UK Finance Market Commentary September 2017 in full click here.