The housing market is slowly cooling according to the British Banker’s Association (BBA), with a 10% fall in approvals for house purchases in September compared to a year ago.
The news follows the slowing of mortgage approvals triggered by the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review in earlier in the year.
Richard Woolhouse, Chief Economist at the BBA, said: “A year ago there were many of us who were concerned by the heady pace of property price rises. Today’s figures suggest we are now experiencing a steadier housing market and that’s no bad thing.”
10% fall in mortgage approvals
Compared to the same time a year earlier, approvals in September 2014 were:
- 10% lower for house purchases
- 24% lower for remortgaging
- 35% lower for ‘other’
There were a total of 62,898 approvals overall in September across the UK.
The average house purchase value was £157,700, lower than the £164,000 average across the previous 6 months indicating a cooling in prices.
Fewer mortgages, more competitive market
The news follows the recent introduction by HSBC and Barclays of their lowest mortgage rates ever, with Nationwide following suit.
HSBC are offering an initial 2 year discounted variable rate, currently just 0.99%. This is a fixed 2 year discount on their standard variable rate which could go up, but with recent announcements from the Bank of England indicating rate rises could be a long way off mortgage rates are likely to remain competitive for some time.
While HSBC’s sub-1% offering requires a 40% deposit, first-time buyers with 20% deposits can still get a 1.75% initial rate from Furness Building Society.
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