New mortgage approvals up in March

There was an increase in the number of new mortgage approvals for home purchasers and remortgagors in the month of March, though February's five year low was always going to be fairly easy to improve upon.

There were still less new mortgages approved than December of last year, but after the slow start to 2013, the 53,504 new home loans for house purchasing in March are a welcome boost to the property market. There was also an increase in the number of people approved for a remortgage, with 30,088 new loans compared to an average of 28,028 over the last 6 months. The cost of mortgage deals, in particular two-year fixed-rate deals have been falling, but it is a five-year fixed deal that borrowers are most being drawn to. Most analysts believe interest rates will not increase before 2015/16, so many new house purchasers and remortgagors are going with the security of a longer fixed deal.

Overall mortgage lending is still down against the historic average despite the Funding for Lending scheme introduced by the government. Deposit requirements are still a large barrier to many first time buyers, while many would-be remortgagors, in Northern Ireland in particular, are still trapped in their mortgage deal because of negative equity.

If you are considering a house purchase or a remortgage in Northern Ireland and require a property solicitor to handle the conveyancing process for you, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9290.