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Mortgage credit conditions loosen in November


November saw the loosening of credit conditions in the mortgage market for the first time since May, according to research from e.surv chartered surveyors.

The research shows more mortgages were approved and on more generous loan-to-value ratios.

The number of mortgage valuations conducted grew 3.5 per cent in the month, pushing the volume of mortgage approvals in November to 48,846 on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to 47,185 in October.  This was the highest level since May, and the first month-on-month increase since April.

The average LTV increased by almost 1 per cent. It reached 57.7 per cent in November, the first increase since June, and is well up on the low point in December 2008, with lenders then only advancing 49.4 per cent on average.

E.surv business development director Richard Sexton says: “November was a rare bright spot for the mortgage market.  There were some very attractive products available and that stimulated a lot of demand from borrowers, both to buy homes and to remortgage.  Lenders are still more comfortable focusing on wealthier borrowers and are prepared to expand loan-to-value ratios more for these groups than the average, but there was also an unusually large improvement in credit conditions for the lowest value borrowers too.

“Such a strong month will be hard to beat from here, but tales of the renewed demise of the market are hard to reconcile with this sort of strength.  The market usually goes very quiet in December of course, so the next big test for the market will be in the new year.  January is the month to watch.”


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