Number of mortgage approvals resumes upward trend

The number of mortgages approved for people buying a home resumed its upward trend during September, following a seasonal dip in August, figures showed today.

A total of 50,600 loans were advanced for house purchase during the month, 2 per cent more than in August and 43 per cent higher than in September last year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The group said September was the third month in a row in which there had been a year-on-year increase in lending for house purchases, following 25 consecutive months in which lending had been lower than a year earlier.

But it added that although the recent bounce-back in housing market activity appeared to be holding up, transaction levels were still some way below normal.

The number of mortgages advanced to first-time buyers also rose during September, after falling slightly in August.

Around 19,700 people bought their first home with a mortgage during the month, 5 per cent more than in August and 45 per cent more than in September 2008.

First-time buyers continued to put down average deposits of 25 per cent of their home's value.

But the average salary multiples that lenders advanced increased from 3.1 times a borrower's income in August to 3.15 times their pay in September - the highest level for a year, and a further sign that banks and building societies are beginning to loosen their lending criteria.

The CML said a third of first-time buyers avoided paying stamp during September as a result of the Government's stamp duty holiday on properties costing up to £175,000.

There were 6,200 mortgages advanced to first-time buyers purchasing homes priced between the old stamp duty threshold of £125,000 and the new one of £175,000 during the month, while a further 7,800 first-time buyers bought homes costing less than £125,000.

Around 7,300 homemovers also benefited from the higher stamp duty threshold, which is due to fall back to £125,000 at the end of this year.

CML economist Paul Samter said: "The stamp duty concession has played a modest role in underpinning confidence in the housing market.

"As the end date for the stamp duty concession approaches, we may see sustained levels of activity at the lower end of the market in a traditionally quiet time.

"But the corollary will be lower activity in early 2010 as transactions are 'bunched' in 2009."

There was a slight pick-up in the number of people remortgaging, with this rising by 10 per cent during September, although levels are still 48 per cent lower than they were a year ago.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "The CML data indicate that mortgage activity continues to trend up gradually but steadily from the record low levels seen around the turn of the year.

"Nevertheless, mortgage activity is still well down on long-term norms.

"Consequently, while house prices increased for the sixth successive month in October according to the Nationwide and for the fourth month running according to the Halifax, and could well rise further in the near term, we suspect that they will be prone to significant relapses over the coming months."

Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Quantitative Risk Manager

    Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments