High street banks approved 11% more mortgages for home buyers during August compared with last year as the market shifts away from buy-to-let and cash purchases.
Trade body UK Finance’s latest figures show that the top 21 lenders in the UK approved 41,807 home loans last month, beating the previous six month average of 41,133.
Total mortgage lending was estimated to be £24.2bn in August, of which £15.1bn was lent by high street banks.
UK Finance also analysed Land Registry data for July, finding that transactions were shifting from buy-to-let and cash purchases to first-time buyers and home movers.
The research found that buy-to-let purchases have dropped 31% in the two years to July 2017, while cash purchases were down 6%. Meanwhile, first-time buyer and home mover sales increased 17% and 1% respectively over the same period.
Mohammad Jamei, senior economist for UK Finance, said: “Housing market activity is in Goldilocks territory, growing only modestly since the start of the year, though the mix of activity has shifted towards first-time buyers, away from buy-to-let and cash.
“There is also some rebalancing across regions, as activity picks up in the north of England, Wales and Scotland, away from London, the south-east and east Anglia.
“Despite resilience in consumer spending, annual growth in consumer credit has been slowing over the last few months. Across the UK some households have opted to save a little less, whilst others have not increased their borrowing. Meanwhile there has been growth in business deposits as non-financial companies hold cashflow and reserves amidst broader uncertainty in their trading conditions.”
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