UK banks approve highest number of mortgages in ten years
2019 marked the highest annual total for mortgage approvals since 2009, when 986,742 loans were given out.
Throughout 2019, 982,286 mortgages were validated by high street banks, a 7.4 per cent increase compared to 2018. Last year´s mortgage approvals amounted to a total of £265.8bn in lending.
According to UK Finance, more than half a million (507,789) of 2019´s mortgages were used for house purchases, the highest annual level since 2015.
In December, the latest sign of a revival in the British housing market came as the number of mortgages approved by high street banks reached the highest level for one month in almost five years; the 46,815 approvals was an increase from 44,058 the month before.
Last week, Rightmove’s house price index showed UK property prices rising at the fastest monthly rate in 18 years. The index recorded its biggest ever monthly leap in asking prices, which came in at £306,810 in January, about £6,785 higher than a month earlier.
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at forecasters EY ITEM Club, said: “December’s jump in mortgage approvals adds to a growing amount of firmer data and survey evidence suggesting that the housing market could well be changing up a gear.”