Shocking Drop: UK Mortgage Approvals Plunge to 6-Month Low



Discover the shocking drop as UK mortgage approvals plunge to a 6-month low. Learn about the adverse impact of high interest rates and the concerns it raises for the housing market.

In a concerning development for the housing market, mortgage approvals in the UK tumbled to their lowest level in six months in August. The Bank of England recently reported that net mortgage approvals for house purchases dropped from 49,500 in July to 45,400 in August, marking a significant decline of one-third compared to the same month last year. This decline signifies the adverse impact of high interest rates, with this substantial drop being the lowest number of home loans approved since February this year. It has undoubtedly intensified concerns regarding the demand for housing in the face of 14 interest rate hikes since December 2021.


Shocking Drop: UK Mortgage Approvals Plunge to 6-Month Low | ogusyis

Adding to the concern, separate figures provided by HMRC indicate a decline in the number of house sales in August compared to the previous year. According to estimates, there were approximately 87,010 home sales across the UK in the past month, representing a 16% decrease compared to August 2022. However, it is worth noting that this figure still stands 1% higher than July 2023, suggesting that the market is partially sustained by cash buyers. These buyers, who have the funds to purchase properties without requiring a loan, play a critical role in preventing a significant collapse in the market.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of cash buyers, the ailing property market is expected to face a steeper fall in prices than previously forecasted. Knight Frank, a prominent estate agent, recently revised its predictions and now expects UK house prices to decline by 7% in 2023, compared to the earlier projected 5% fall. Furthermore, they anticipate an additional 4% decrease in 2024. This downward revision underscores the severity and long-term impacts of the ongoing housing market challenges.

Moreover, the Bank of England's report also highlights a significant decline in net approvals for remortgaging. The figures dropped from 39,300 in July to 25,000 in August, marking the lowest level recorded since July 2012. This decline signals a concurrent slowing down of the mortgage refinancing market, potentially adding further strain to an already struggling sector.

Earlier this week, a report revealed that the number of first-time buyers in the UK has plummeted by more than a fifth, mainly due to the surge in mortgage costs. With the increased expense of entering the housing market, many aspiring homeowners find it unaffordable to step onto the property ladder. This trend adds to the growing concerns about the accessibility and affordability of homeownership for a significant portion of the population.

In conclusion, the UK housing market is grappling with challenges as mortgage approvals hit a six-month low in August. The combined effects of high interest rates, declines in house sales, and reduced remortgaging activities all contribute to the growing worries surrounding the long-term stability of the market. With a steeper predicted fall in house prices and a significant decline in the number of first-time buyers, it is crucial for policymakers and industry experts to closely monitor and address these issues to safeguard the UK housing market's health and resilience.

Shocking Drop: UK Mortgage Approvals Plunge to 6-Month Low

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