National Mortgage Index November 2019
Delayed Brexit doesn't deter buyers in October
Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau comments:
"With news mid-month that Brexit was going to be delayed and a December general election rumoured but at the time not yet confirmed, one would be forgiven for thinking that the UK property market would have stalled in October as a result. However, reviewing the available data for the month, the forward momentum we’ve seen for most of this year in many parts of the country was still very much in evidence.
"Whilst property values may have softened slightly in a few regions – apart from London and the South East, where conditions have been markedly different to the rest of the country for the last 24 months or so – transaction levels remained at very respectable levels for purchases. First time buyer activity was particularly evident, and
we would suggest that in many cases, this group were taking advantage of slightly more subdued conditions together with favourable borrowing conditions, including the choice of a number of innovative ‘family’ mortgage products available from several lenders. These particular products enable a parent or family member to lodge their savings in an interest-bearing linked account for a certain period, rather than having to gift the funds required for the deposit. Together with buyers continuing to utilise the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, this supports the narrative from other industry data sources, such as UK Finance, which suggests that overall mortgage application numbers from First Time Buyers have continued to increase throughout 2019.
"There was also a significant demand for remortgages in October, which came as no surprise due to the volumes of previously arranged fixed rate products due for expiry. With mortgage rates so low at the moment, many borrowers are finding that they are able to swap to a new deal which enables them to either reduce their monthly payments, or slightly overpay each month and in doing so, reduce their outstanding balance within a shorter timescale, either of which is of course a great result. Consumers are also benefitting from a highly competitive lending market, with rates at or close to all-time low levels.
"Looking at the key indicators for the main borrowing groups, these mostly remained relatively stable in October with nothing other than marginal changes, as has been the case since the start of this year. We would suggest that this points to consumer appetite for property remaining relatively consistent, regardless of political and economic headlines, which moving into the final months of 2019 will probably be seen by many as a positive."
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