UK Finance has reported that gross mortgage lending across the residential market in July 2019 was £26.1 billion, 2.9% higher than the same month in 2018 and the highest since March 2016.
There were 95,126 mortgages approved by the main high street banks in July 2019, the highest monthly total since July 2009 when the figure stood at 99,970.
Mortgage approvals for home purchase were 16.4% higher, remortgage approvals were 19.4% higher and approvals for other secured borrowing were 12.7% higher than the same month a year earlier.
Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker, Coreco, said: “July was our biggest month of the year by a distance and on this evidence we weren’t alone.
“Remortgages were the driving force of the rampant activity levels in July, with households taking advantage of the exceptionally competitive mortgage rates available.
“Lenders are awash with cash and borrowers are making hay while the sun shines. First time buyer numbers are also surging, especially among those funded by the Bank of Mum and Dad.
“July was the month when the odds of a no-deal Brexit got a lot shorter and this clearly incentivised people to act. Borrowers have become increasingly worried that lenders could easily pull down the shutters in the event of a disorderly Brexit and also increase their rates so they’re getting on with it.
“Similarly, a lot of prospective buyers are wary that house prices could bounce back quite sharply if no-deal proves to be a damp squib and the balance of power swings back to sellers. Many people have come to the conclusion that there is as much risk to the wait-and-see approach to Brexit as just getting on with it.”
Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “Interest rates on mortgages remain near their record lows and we are seeing real innovation from lenders in the mortgage market to help meet the changing needs of consumers. Ensuring borrowers can meet the affordability requirements while also securing a great value product.
“Anyone thinking about buying a house or changing their current mortgage should consider reaching out to a mortgage adviser. Our research has shown that current borrowers could potentially be missing out on a better deal by not speaking with an adviser. With access to nearly six times more products than going direct to a lender, advisers are there to help borrowers decide what their next step should be.”