Homeowners say getting a mortgage is becoming harder

But latest Bank of England figures show mortgage market is 'back on the climb'

Alex Johnson
Tuesday 29 July 2014 12:50 BST
Around 40 per cent of people say that securing a mortgage is now harder than it was three months ago. (PA)
Around 40 per cent of people say that securing a mortgage is now harder than it was three months ago. (PA)

UK homeowners remain very confident that property values will continue to rise this year, but are concerned about mortgage availability, says a new report.

The figures from Zoopla come as the Bank of England releases statistics showing that the number of people taking out mortgages is going up again, with 67,196 mortgage approvals in June, compared to 62,007 in May.

Zoopla's survey of 7,810 homeowners shows that 92 per cent expect UK property prices to increase over the next six months. The average prediction for house price growth over the rest of the year is 7.6 per cent.

But there are concerns that the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) and new lending rules have slowed down the mortgage application process and made securing finance more difficult.

Around 40 per cent of those surveyed say that securing a mortgage is now harder than it was three months ago.

Commenting on the Bank of England report, Peter Williams, Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, said it showed that the mortgage market is 'back on the climb'.

"Following the momentary blip brought on by changing regulations both the number and value of approvals have seen significant rises in the past month," he said. "But such growth is no cause for alarm and certainly not a cause for further intervention to curb lending, particularly given that the latest signs point towards a calming of house price growth.

"This upswing is a further sign that in spite of increasingly stringent criteria, lenders are still eager to lend to worthy applicants. However, borrowers must also start to prepare for a rise in pricing, with a higher base rate firmly on the cards and with politicians still in the very earliest stages of tackling the systemic shortage of homes."

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said the log-jam in the mortgage market is beginning to clear.

"Lending slowed slightly after MMR was introduced, as banks adjusted to lengthier advisory sessions and longer processing times," he said. "The recent lending pick-up shows this period of transition is smoothing, and the backlog of applications caught in the system starting to reduce.

"Many aspiring homeowners are still longing after their own slice of the property market. Demand is still high among first-time buyers in particular, and high loan-to-value lending hit a post crisis peak in June. More borrowers are being forced to take out proportionally larger loans, while wage growth remains sluggish and house prices continue to rise."

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