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Mortgage approvals fall for fifth consecutive month

03 Jan 2015

Bank of England (BOE) data released yesterday show that mortgage approvals fell to 59,029, the fifth monthly fall in-a-row. This was also a low for the past 17 months. The most recent high (June) was 66,728, and the previous peak in Jan 2014 was 76,611.

The figures are a good indication that house-price growth will continue to slow, but consensus still seems to be a UK average price-growth of 2-5% in 2015, with a fall in prime central London being more than made up for elsewhere. A higher number of approvals (and therefore transactions) tends to indicate a bullish market

The fall in approvals is attributed to the effect of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) implemented by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last April, and also stretched house-price to earnings ratios (prices have risen much more than average salaries over the past few years). The MMR was designed to limit borrowing by individuals to protect both them and lenders in the event of a market crash.

For the in-depth BOE release see here, and go to Part two: Lending to individuals

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