Housing market remained consistent in April, MAB states

mab may

The latest figures from the Mortgage Advice Bureau

In overall lending terms, in April MAB observed plenty of purchase-led activity alongside significant numbers of homeowners deciding to remortgage, probably due to the news headlines suggesting that an interest rate rise in May was likely.

The Easter holiday at the beginning of the month coupled with un-seasonally late bursts of inclement weather appeared to impact buyer behaviour in some areas until the middle of the month with many estate agents reporting viewings postponed during the period. However, homebuyer borrowing activity remained strong all month overall, suggesting that consumer confidence was very much still in evidence. Completed transaction volumes as a whole were slightly tempered according to HMRC data, although deals finalising in April would be a reflection of those which probably would have originated in January, if not previously.

On a regional basis, topline data for Bristol and South West is as follows:

South West Average Statistics –  April  2018 data Purchase Mortgage Remortgage
Average LTV % 71% 57%
Average loan size £170,456 £145,064
Average age 37 44
Average income £31,717 £34,293
Average property value £235,413 £255,394

Nigel Bull from Mortgage Advice Bureau in Bristol comments:

“April was a tale of two halves for us; the first couple of weeks were slightly quiet, due mostly to the adverse weather hampering viewings together with the early Easter holidays. However, the second half of the month more than made up for it, with our advisers busy assisting both home movers and clients wanting to remortgage.

Of those who were moving home, we saw a real mix of clients with first time buyers and families seeking to purchase. Interestingly, landlords were active in April as well, which we would suggest is as a result of the ongoing demand for quality rental property locally.

On the remortgage side, we observed that clients who were coming off their current deal were keen to fix again to ensure continuity of a low rate, more for long term financial planning purposes than fear of a rate rise in May.

Property prices overall cooled in the local area slightly last month, but the key word here is ‘realistic’ – due to the ongoing lack of stock creating upwards pressure in recent months, now there are slightly more homes for sale, prices are returning to realistic levels rather than ‘dropping’ per se and we would absolutely suggest that sensibly priced properties are selling quickly due to demand.  It’s only where a seller is perhaps being slightly ambitious in terms of asking price that properties tend to stick in this current environment.”

For more information, visit Mortgage Advice Bureau National Mortgage Index – May 2018


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