House prices up but the volume of sales falls
There were 64,434 mortgage approvals for house purchase in May, the Bank of England has reported.
This was down from 67,580 in April.
Altogether, remortgaging accounted for almost one in three loans approved last month.
Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said this was unsurprising, with low rates and rising house prices incentivising many home owners to switch their loans.
He said: “The best prices are available to borrowers with the most equity in their homes, so it is a logical step for people to look closely at how much value their property has gained in recent years and see whether this throws the door open to a cheaper deal.
“Overall loan approvals in May slowed slightly compared with April, but our own data shows a rise in mortgage applications last month and lenders’ appetite remains strong.”
Separately, haart has reported that exchanges were up 2.4% in May compared with April, although down 17.7% on May last year.
Based on its own Sold Subject to Contract data, it puts the average UK house price at £212,494, with the average London house price standing at £536,286.
Haart does however say that new buyer demand has edged up only slightly from April, by 0.3%, and is down 12.7% from May last year.
The volume of new property instructions was up 2.6% on April, but down 11.5% on May 2014.
In contrast to haart’s findings, the NAEA said that demand rose in May to the highest level since last September and with the highest year on year growth in demand for ten years.
The NAEA found that there were 383 applicants registered per branch in May.
Supply of housing was also up on a monthly basis, according to the NAEA, with 46 properties for sale per branch.
However, supply is almost half what it was in May 2005, when demand was at a similar level.