Mortgage approvals 'to be squeezed'

Updated: 

PA

Banks are preparing to squeeze mortgage approvals despite demand increasing "significantly", according to a report by the Bank of England (BoE).

The central bank's quarterly Credit Conditions Survey for the three months to the end of May found lenders forecast a "lower appetite for risk" in the sector over the next three months.

The move comes as Bank governor Mark Carney is expected to announce new rules on Thursday to further cut back on large and risky mortgage loans in a bid to head off the threat of a housing bubble.

Data from the Office of National Statistics last week showed London house prices surged 18.7% in the 12 months to April, while national UK values rose 9.9%.

The central bank's survey found lenders expect the rate of household loan approvals to fall significantly in the third quarter of the year as a result of April changes to the Mortgage Market
Review which forces lenders to more closely scrutinise borrowers' income and outgoings to check if they can afford repayments if interest rates rise.

The report said: "Some lenders noted that changes introduced as a result of the Mortgage Market Review might reduce approval rates somewhat."

It added: "In addition, some lenders suggested that a tightening in lending standards on large loans with high loan-to-income ratios may also push down their approval rate a little."

In the second quarter of the year the Bank found mortgage approvals had increased slightly, while demand went up significantly and was expected to rise again in the next three month period.
Lenders have reported rises in mortgage availability for the last two years.

Jonathan Harris, a director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: "Demand is still strong as buyers remain confident of their ability to get a mortgage and their perception that now is a good time to buy, with more stock coming onto the market."

Consumers' appetite for credit card borrowing, meanwhile, fell slightly in the second quarter, and is expected to remain unchanged between July and September. Demand for other unsecured products, such as overdrafts and personal loans was unchanged in the second quarter, with banks expecting demand to rise in the third quarter.

Business demand for loans rose for a second straight quarter, with lenders saying that firms wanted loans to fund mergers and acquisitions and for investment in property.

Banks added they expected a further increase in demand for corporate lending in the third quarter.

However, in the second quarter of the year the availability of credit to small and medium sized firms was unchanged, with a slight rise in credit to large companies.

The people who affect house prices

The people who affect house prices