Mortgage approvals at highest level since 2007

95% mortgage range has trebled under Help to Buy 2

New figures from the British Bankers' Association show that the
total number of mortgage approvals rose to more than 82,000 in
January, with approvals for purchases as opposed to for
remortgaging or other secured lending at 49,972.

This represents the highest figure since September 2007, when the number of home purchase loans approved was 54,115.

Total mortgage lending by the BBA's members was 38 per cent higher in January than a year ago while the number of mortgages for home buyers which were approved, but not yet lent, was up 57 per cent.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: "Demand is strong from the top to the bottom of the market. First-time buyers are keen to lock into cheap deals and get on the ladder. Help to Buy is encouraging renters to get onto the property ladder. In the North East & Cumbria and the North West in particular, the scheme is needed to help cash-strapped borrowers get on the ladder."

Adrian Anderson, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, added: "Mortgage lending is no doubt higher as a result of Government initiatives, but also on the back of other lenders following suit and matching the Help to Buy deals out there.

"Remortgaging is high, stimulated by the fact that Funding for Lending money has enabled lenders to offer some of the lowest ever five year fixed rates. A lot of buyers have been able to take advantage of that. Borrowers sitting on high standard variable rates have jumped off and switched to lenders with more competitive rates."

Aspiring homebuyers with a five per cent deposit now have three times more options than before the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee launched, according to Genworth, the mortgage insurance provider.

Simon Crone, Genworth Vice President – Commercial Mortgage Insurance Europe, said: "The combination of commercial appetite, government support and private insurance take-up has transformed the outlook for first time buyers and reignited competition for low deposit mortgages. Just six months ago, a five per cent deposit left potential buyers stranded with very few options to choose from. But a tide of new products has brought confidence flooding back and has already had a visible impact on the number of loans approved.

"Whether or not borrowers focus on the Help to Buy product range or look beyond it for more options, the scheme’s galvanising effect means there are now far more choices and far better rates at 95% LTV to end their wait for a loan. High LTV lending is good for the economy and, with improved funding markets and government support, it can become a powerful tonic to support the wider recovery."

News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor