Mortgage approvals are down
Fewer mortgages were approved in April than in the previous month, new figures have shown.
Furthermore, the total value of mortgage lending also fell, according to the data from the Bank of England.
Lenders approved 48,690 new mortgages in April, down from 51,488 in March.
Aside from the Covid months, April saw the weakest net lending on record, as the market became increasingly sluggish.
While the housing market did recover from Liz Truss’s mini-budget last autumn, the uptick has not continued.
Many industry insiders are predicting a fall in house prices this year as the Bank’s increases in borrowing costs filter through into higher mortgage repayments.
Mike Bradley, a senior broker at Home Owners Advice, said: “The mini-budget last year really did cause the market to slow right down.
“It did pick up but now we are seeing it plateau again. The increase in interest rates has driven up mortgage costs which predictably feed through into the slowing of the market.
“A dearth of affordable houses is slowing the first-time buyer market, and new laws have meant the buy-to-let market has quietened down.
“Add to this the general increase in cost of living and it’s easy to understand what is happening.
“However, context is important and interest rates are nowhere near what they have been in previous economic slumps, and nor are the number of repossessions.
“We also have near full employment, so it is a financial scenario that is something new.”