Mortgage lending on the up… But what does it mean?

Recent reports suggest that the number of mortgage approvals is up again. The Hedges property team of conveyancing solicitors can certainly confirm that this summer has been busier than any over the last few years – we had 12 successful completions last Friday which made it an exhilarating day for many of us (although having 12 happy clients made it all worthwhile)!

Despite frequent reports of rising house prices and increased levels of lending, anecdotal evidence from our own experience and that of our many estate agent contacts would suggest that the market is still some way from full recovery. We’re experiencing peaks like this summer and then dips during which activity tails off rather than the more steady flow of sales and purchases from some years back. Speak to any Oxford estate agent and it won’t be long before they start lamenting the lack of new houses coming onto the market.

So, whilst we’re cautiously optimistic that the peak in lending in July will manifest itself in a busy end to 2015, we’ll leave breaking out the champagne to our happy movers for now…. and keep hoping for a little more stability in the market.

Tighter rules on mortgage lending took effect last year, requiring banks and building societies to make more rigorous checks on whether borrowers could afford their loan

The number of approvals fell throughout most of 2014, cooling house price growth and easing concerns about a bubble in the housing market.

But Tuesday’s figures add to signs the housing market is heating up again. Mortgage approvals have risen in five of the past seven months and the pace of price rises has picked up.

Net mortgage lending, which lags approvals, surged by £2.709 billion in July, the biggest increase since July 2008.