EU Referendum Makes Home Buyers Nervous in June

It was perhaps to be expected. With the EU Referendum taking place on 23rd June, prospective home buyers and movers hesitated to get mortgages until the dust settled on the outcome of the vote. This led to a drop in the number of mortgage approvals counted for that month. Analysts had expected around 65,650 approvals to go through in June, but the actual figure turned out to be smaller. Just 64,766 mortgages were approved that month, compared with 66,722 the month before. This amounted to a drop of just shy of 2,000. This is a low point for the year so far. It does not, however, tell us what we might expect to happen from this point onwards. There is a chance we could end up seeing a further slide as the second half of the year gets underway in earnest. The drop in June was almost certainly due to hesitancy regarding the vote and its possible outcome. Now we have voted to leave the EU, it remains to be seen how prospective home buyers proceed from this moment onwards. Net mortgage lending is well down on March high Back in March, the housing market recorded a total of £7.275 billion in net mortgage lending. In stark contrast, June saw a figure of just £3.348 billion. This amounts to less than half of that figure. It was still higher than the month before though. The picture so far 2016 has seen a steady fall in the number of mortgage approvals on the market. The Bank of England also expects credit growth to slow down during the latter part of 2016. So does this mean we can expect even fewer mortgage approvals as another month takes hold? In reality, the fallout from Brexit and the state of the housing market for the remainder of this year have yet to be fully seen. The number of approvals in June turned out to hit a one-year low, but will they drop lower still? Consumer lending has, on the other hand, been looking very rosy indeed. In fact, the 10.3% increase seen in June (when compared to the same period last year) was the best amount of growth the country has seen since October 2005. Thats quite a significant figure, and it points to the possibility that people are putting a hold on moving home and instead perhaps making the most of the one they have. Looking ahead to the end of the year may well prove difficult. The analysts will make their predictions, of course, but in reality there is a chance we may have no idea whether mortgage lending will rise or fall. We may see a stronger mortgage market if people regain confidence in moving home. On the other hand, they may still be prepared to wait longer to determine whether the future is going to be more settled than some might assume. Brexit has certainly created some uncertainty, and this extends to the mortgage market as well.

Published on 31 July 2016

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