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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Housing market shrugs off winter slowdown

Mortgage approvals for house purchases rose again in November as the market defied a seasonal winter slowdown.

Loan approvals for house purchases totalled 70,410 in November, according to Bank of England money and credit report, published on Monday.

This compared to an average of 68,428 across the previous six months

Remortgaging approval numbers reached 39,161, in line with the average over the previous six months.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at brokers the Mortgage Advice Bureau, said approvals now stand significantly higher than in November 2014.

“Activity has also been encouraged by record low mortgage rates, which make monthly payments more affordable.”

Murphy expected lender appetite for new business to grow significantly in 2016. “Those who meet affordability criteria will continue to enjoy the excellent deals available in the marketplace.”

Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, said there are few signs of a slowing market. 

“As we head into the new year this is a positive sign for the housing market and the economy as a whole. 

“It will be interesting to see what the figures reveal for December, but going on recent activity, and reports from the intermediary market, there was little in the way of a dip before Christmas.”

Richard Sexton, director of chartered surveyor e.surv, said mortgage lending continues to benefit from the improving economic climate.

“For first-time buyers, 2016 may bring both opportunities and hurdles. Increases in house prices and any upward movement in interest rates later in the year would create challenges particularly for first-time buyers.”

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