House purchase mortgage approvals last month were 15 per cent lower than in September 2015 according to figures from the British Bankers’ Association.
Over the course of the first nine months of the year the picture is better but still showing a drop – approvals were three per cent lower than in the same period of 2015.
Remortgaging approvals were similar to those in September 2015 but in the first nine months of 2016 were 15 per cent higher than in the equivalent period of 2015.
The BBA warns that the housing market “continues to shows signs of underlying weakness” in its latest statement.
“This year is fast becoming one of two halves as we are seeing a succession of figures demonstrating growing uncertainty since the EU referendum vote. The market has not collapsed but on the ground we are seeing that the outcome and its aftermath is certainly making buyers and those considering remortgaging think twice before making decisions” notes Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman.
“Confidence is lower, there is still uncertainty about what the future holds and when people are uncertain they will defer decisions. Buying a house is a big transaction in anyone’s eyes and people are delaying that decision until they are happy that they are making the right one” says Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients.