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Mortgage lending soars to post-crisis high

Mortgage borrowing jumped to a six-year high in May and average deposits also hit a new post-recession peak, new figures show.

Deposits have grown in line with loan sizes over the last year as rising prices put more equity into buyers' pockets, according to the National Mortgage Index from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

The index, compiled using data from over 600 brokers and 900 estate agents, showed that average loans reached new levels in May with the typical homebuyer applying for a loan of £167,842.


That is 1% higher than April’s previous post-recession marker of £166,141.

Rising house prices are forcing consumers to take on bigger loans, but they are also putting up more of their own funds to climb the property ladder.

The average house purchase deposit hit £72,302 last month.

This is the highest figure since Mortgage Advice Bureau began recording this in March 2009, surpassing the previous peak of £71,474 from June 2014.

The average deposit has grown 4% since May 2014, equivalent to an extra £3,064 of cash or equity.

That exactly matches the 4% growth in the average loan, equivalent to an extra £5,944 of borrowing.

New affordability measures introduced over the last year have also kept lending activity in check.

The average purchase LTV peaked at 72% in March 2014 before the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules took effect on April 26.

This has since dropped back to 70% last month as the average homebuyer with a mortgage funded 30% of the purchase price with their own cash or equity.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said there are now multiple checks and balances to ensure people do not borrow beyond their means.

“Thanks to recovering houses prices, many existing homeowners have extra equity in their properties and can balance their borrowing commitments with a significant stake of their own.

“Putting up a 30% deposit helps to unlock some of the best rates on the market and helps keep mortgage payments even more affordable.

“The rise of deposits is less encouraging for first time buyers, but there is at least some hope that more low cost properties will become available as second- and third-steppers make their move up the ladder.”

  • Daniel Roder

    I think the MMR has helped and has not been as much of a hindrance as expected. It obviously slows things down a lot, but if the result is that we stop the free-for-all that helped lead to the last financial crisis then I think the delays are worth it. And, as we can see, it's not stopping lending, it just means it's regulated much better.

  • Kelly Evans

    Shows how well the market is recovering. Mortgage borrowing being back to pre-crisis highs shows how far we've come in the last few years. The MMR, while not perfect, does seem to regulate things much better so we don't run into the issues we had after the Lehman brothers collapsed in 2008.

  • Anna  Dickson

    Fantastic to see that despite the constraints of the MMR that the number of mortgages taken out hasn't declined. Fingers crossed that first-time buyers will now be able to have a stab at getting themselves on the housing ladder.


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