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National Mortgage Index June 2019

Property market steady despite continued political uncertainty

Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau comments:

"We’ve observed that the majority of key indicators have either remained stable or seen a slight increase on a month-on-month basis, suggesting that the market has remained consistent over the course of May. This is a continuation of the trend that we’ve observed since the start of the year, albeit with the top-line figure masking the variation of performance between regions.

"In some areas of the UK, notably the Midlands, Wales, North West, Yorkshire and Humberside, market confidence is still strong, with demand often outstripping supply at some price points. This has, understandably, translated into increased numbers of clients requiring purchase mortgages in these areas. Likewise, in these regions, year on year price growth is notable, meaning that those who are trading up to a more expensive property, or indeed staying put and remortgaging, are in many cases benefiting from the increased amount of value in their current property. However, these areas are balancing out those which are seeing softer conditions, meaning that when viewed collectively, national average price movements on both a month on month and year on year basis are more subdued.

"It’s also interesting to note the anecdotal feedback from our brokers in the regions where the market is busier, despite the political headlines in May. It would appear that many first time buyers and home movers have decided over the past few weeks that, whilst they may have previously delayed their moving plans due to Brexit, they simply aren’t willing – or in some cases, able – to wait any longer. It’s this ‘carry on regardless’ sentiment in the stronger performing parts of the UK that appears to be keeping overall purchase levels ticking over at a steady pace, with the better performing regions counterbalancing the lower levels of activity in other regions. Against this backdrop, lenders have continued to maintain a competitive stance, with some of the larger brands re-pricing downwards last month. Of course, this is positive for consumers, and it would appear that this ‘open for business’ approach is likely to be indicative of the lending landscape over the next few months."

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