UK markets closed
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,871.78
    +324.80 (+1.14%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    20,040.86
    -134.76 (-0.67%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    88.87
    -3.22 (-3.50%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,793.80
    -21.70 (-1.20%)
     
  • DOW

    33,931.85
    +170.80 (+0.51%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    20,006.56
    -227.61 (-1.12%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    572.77
    -18.00 (-3.05%)
     
  • ^IXIC

    13,111.91
    +64.73 (+0.50%)
     
  • ^FTAS

    4,155.09
    +5.19 (+0.13%)
     

Mortgage lending leaps as buyers rush to get ahead of rising rates

·2-min read
house buying mortgages
house buying mortgages

A rush to lock in low borrowing costs sparked the biggest rise in mortgage lending in eight months as the housing market defied rising interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis.

Net mortgage lending leapt to £7.4bn in May, up from £4.2bn the previous month, despite a jump in interest rates for borrowers, new Bank of England data showed.

Total mortgage approvals, an indicator for future borrowing, also held up much stronger than economists expected, rising slightly to 66,200 in May.

Economists said the figures could point to a scramble to benefit from lower mortgage rates as homeowners brace for the Bank of England to push up interest rates much further.

The data revealed that borrowers suffered the biggest six-month surge in mortgage rates in a decade. Average interest rates on a new mortgage have jumped almost 50 basis points in six months and rose a further 13 basis points in May to 1.95pc.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said: “With lenders pulling their cheapest products on a weekly basis, there is extra urgency to act sooner rather than later.”

Josie Dent, economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said some “home buyers may be rushing to buy a house now before mortgage rates rise again”.

While the figures indicate the property market is holding up more strongly than feared, economists warned a slowdown will soon take hold. Markets expect the Bank of England’s base rate to jump from 1.25pc to above 2.5pc by the end of the year as its policymakers try to battle 40-year-high inflation.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, predicted a modest 2pc decline in house prices in the second half of 2022 but said a large correction will be avoided.

He said: “Given the intense pressure on households’ real disposable incomes from the large increase in the cost of essentials, and the current record low level of consumers’ confidence, home-buyer numbers surely will dwindle in the second half of this year.”

House prices have risen by more than a fifth since the start of the pandemic, making properties less affordable for many prospective buyers.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting