Mortgage approvals hit 11 month low

By Michelle Rock

The number of new mortgage approvals hit an 11 month low in May, according to figures released by the Bank of England.

There were 61,707 approved mortgages in May, down 1,099 from the previous month, and the lowest total since June 2013. The introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) in April is thought to be partly responsible for the dip in mortgage approvals, while other economists say the figures confirm that the UK property markets are starting to cool off again.

The MMR brought in tighter lending criteria, with lenders asking more questions of mortgage applicants, and applying stress tests to assess how the amount of disposable income might change over the early years of the mortgage, and how affordability would be affected if interest rates increased. Since then the Bank of England has issued further guidance to lenders, advising them to assess a mortgage applicant's ability to afford a home loan on the basis of a 3 per cent increase in interest rates over the next 5 years.

If you are buying, selling or remortgaging a property in Northern Ireland, and require a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal process for you, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9290.