Mortgage approvals reach 18 month low

By Lauren Burns

The number of approvals of new mortgage applications made in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK reached an 18 month low in December of last year, as the number of potential house purchasers dropped for the 6th month in a row.

December is of course not traditionally a busy period for mortgages and house purchases, so a lack of activity among first time buyers and home movers largely explains the fall in new loan approvals. The tighter lending criteria introduced with the Mortgage Market Review in April of this year is also considered to be a factor.

It is hoped however that the stamp duty reform introduced at the end of last year, as well as continued employment stability will combine to increase activity in the property market in the first quarter of 2015. It is also anticipated that the number of people remortgaging their property will increase as an interest rate rise gets ever closer. Many home owners in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK have only experienced the current 0.5 per cent interest rate and will no doubt re-evaluate their current mortgage product once a rate increase is confirmed.

If you are buying a house in Northern Ireland, or selling or remortgaging an existing property, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast for information and advice by calling 0800 840 9290.

Or you can request a conveyancing fee estimate in connection with your property purchase, sale or remortgage online by clicking here.