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Mortgage approvals rocket by 20%

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Total mortgage approvals shot up 20.7 per cent year-on-year in November, according to the latest Bank of England lending figures.

There were 121,505 loans approved in November, up from 100,629 a year earlier, the figures show.

Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy says: “Approvals now stand significantly higher than they did in November 2014, driven by strong growth in lending to both homebuyers and existing homeowners. Activity has also been encouraged by record low mortgage rates, which make monthly payments more affordable.”

Within the total figure, approvals for house purchase, remortgage and loans for other purposes were all up annually.

Lenders approved 70,410 loans for house purchase in November, up from 59,279 in November 2014, while the number of remortgage approvals rose 22 per cent year-on-year to 39,161. The number of loans approved for other purposes was up 28.8 per cent to 11,934 over the same period.

Gross lending rose to £20.29bn in November 2015, compared to just £16.34bn for November 2014.

Murphy adds: “Research from MAB shows the value of a house for remortgage reached a 13-month high in November, giving borrowers a significant boost to their housing equity. This puts homeowners in a strong position to access affordable mortgage deals, providing an extra incentive to remortgage.”

Murphy predicts that lenders’ appetite for new business will continue into 2016, good news for those buyers that meet affordability criteria.

“However, overall housing supply continues to be constrained, and it is important that housebuilding targets are met in order to ensure an inclusive market,” he adds.

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