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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

September mortgage lending hits new highs

Two new sets of figures published today show that September was another buoyant month for the housing market.

There was a 20% year-on-year rise in house purchases with a total of 72,930 approvals, according to chartered surveyor e.surv.

And figures from the RICS showed agreed sales rising at the fastest rate since May 2014, despite a shortage of property on the market.

The RICS UK Residential Market Survey showed residential sales moving up a gear as new buyer demand continues to outweigh instructions to sell.

There was also a modest improvement in the availability of mortgage finance.

Across the UK, agreed sales rose at the quickest pace since May 2014, with 14% more chartered surveyors seeing a rise, RICS said. 

This is a 16-month high and the fifth consecutive month that sales have increased.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Activity is now picking up which is encouraging, but unless the stock being sold is replenished there is a limit to how sustainable this modest improvement in market turnover will prove to be.

“Unfortunately, the indications are that we are locked in a cycle where the lack of available properties on agents’ books is itself deterring some potential vendors from thinking about putting their own property on the market.

“Against this backdrop, it is hard not to see prices continuing to move higher over the coming months and into the early part of 2016.” 

The latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv showed the number of house purchase mortgage approvals up 19.8% over the last year to reach a 20-month high.

This represents the highest monthly total since January 2014 – the last month when the Bank of England offered support to mortgage lenders via the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS).

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv, said: “Mortgage lending is enjoying a late summer. After record house purchase lending through the summer months, the numbers suggest that confidence within the UK housing market is still steadily strengthening.

“With interest rate speculation dying-down and a rate hike before next year appearing increasingly unlikely, lenders appetite for growth appears unchanged.”

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