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 Mortgage Approvals Fall As Demand From

Residential PropertyBuyers Fades

UK Mortgage Approvals Fall

UK Mortgage Approvals Fall

UK mortgage approvals in February 2013 have fallen to the lowest level seen for seven months according to E.surv chartered surveyors.

E.surv, reckon that only the government Funding for Lending (FLS) scheme is preventing a much steeper fall in residential property mortgage lending for purchasing, even though uptake from potential property buyers has been lower than expected.

Overall UK mortgage approvals fell by 11% in February to just 49,019,  down from 54,719 approvals recorded in January 2013, making it the lowest mortgage approval level since July 2012, according to E.surv data.

The fall in mortgage approvals comes despite a wider and cheaper range of residential mortgage products on offer, which suggests that the drop in mortgage lending was due to weakening borrower demand and not a decline in the availability of residential mortgages.

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Is Funding For Lending Working For First Time Buyers?

Is Funding For Lending Working For First Time Buyers?

FIRST-TIME buyer numbers are up by almost a quarter year-on-year, lenders said yesterday, amid signs that government efforts to encourage mortgage lending are finally percolating down to people with smaller deposits.

A total of 21,700 loans worth £2.7 Billion (GBP) were made available to first-time buyers in November 2012, one of the highest monthly totals in the last three years, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

These figures mean that first-time buyer numbers were up by 24% compared with a year earlier, and increased by 8% month on month.

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The UK coalition Government’s NewBuy scheme was launched today, (12th March), aiming to provide a much needed boost for people seeking first-time buyer mortgages.

A recent survey by property portal Rightmove questioned over 2,726 potential house purchasers between March 5th and 7th 2012 about their awareness of the 95% NewBuy mortgages and how the new Government backed scheme might affect them.

Their results of the survey found that nearly 2 in every 5 first-time buyers believe that the introduction of the scheme means they are more likely to get on the housing ladder within the next 12 months.

The NewBuy scheme is available only on UK new-build properties.

However, some critics were already questioning the scheme before any official announcement was made.

Labour’s shadow housing minister Jack Dromey claimed that only 3 out of the original 7 lenders were participating, and that the number of developers in the scheme had fallen from 25 to 7.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders, which up until last week was unable to confirm whether the launch was even going to go ahead despite being co-architect of the scheme.

The CML issued a general, guarded statement, adding that it would issue further information when details of the scheme and participants were available.

CML Director General, Paul Smee, said: “NewBuy mortgages will help creditworthy borrowers who simply haven’t yet managed to build up a large enough deposit to gain access to finance to buy a newly-built home. NewBuy is good news for home-buyers, and potentially good news for jobs and the wider economy too. Borrowers need to understand the implications of high loan-to-value (LTV), borrowing, so we will be supporting the initiative with clear consumer information to help people decide whether NewBuy borrowing is an attractive option for them.”

The House Builders Federation (HBF) also issued a statement just days after it too had to admit it did not know for sure if today’s launch would go ahead.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said: “NewBuy will help thousands of people to meet their aspirations to buy a new home, freeing up the housing market and helping first-time buyers and those unable to take the next step on the ladder. The scheme will also provide a vital kick-start for house builders large and small who will be able to build the homes and create the jobs that the country desperately needs.

According to the research by Rightmove, 38% of those looking to buy for the first time stated they would be more likely to purchase a home over the next 12 months once the scheme was launched.

The scheme could also benefit ‘second-steppers’ – those looking to sell and trade up for the first time – with 24% of respondents in this group stating they would be more likely to purchase over the next 12 months.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “NewBuy looks set to give a significant housing boost to the fortunes of those who need it the most. We’ve found that raising a deposit has long been the major obstacle for those looking to purchase a new home at the foot of the housing ladder. NewBuy helps address this challenge, and we’ve found that the knock-on effect is that, as of today, nearly two in five first-time buyers will be more likely to getting on the housing ladder via thanks to this initiative. First-time buyers and second-steppers have long been frustrated in their efforts to get on to or move up the housing ladder by prohibitive deposit requirements. Four out of ten first-time buyers cited ‘raising enough of a deposit’ to be their single biggest housing market concern in our recent First-Time Buyer Report. NewBuy opens the door to these groups and can also serve as a great stimulus to help safeguard and create jobs in the new build property sector.”

The HSBC and Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks have already said they will not be participating, and neither LloydsTSB or Santander have deals ready although Nationwide has said it will have NewBuy deals available.

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