Mortgage numbers fall to 'new lows'

Date:Wednesday 24th December 2008
Author: Max Freedman

Mortgage approvals for new house purchases in November reached a "new low", according to new statistics.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) revealed that the month saw only 17,773 approvals for such mortgages, representing a drop of 60.7 per cent on the same statistic a year before.

David Dooks, BBA statistics director, said that mortgage approval numbers had "reached new lows".

He added: "With house prices still falling, the encouragement of lower costs had not filtered through by the month-end, largely because people remain concerned about the impacts of the rapidly slowing economy on their personal finances."

Remortgages in November numbered 29,798, which the BBA said showed a 49.9 per cent fall on the figure for November last year.

The average value of a house purchase mortgage was also found to be £117,000, showing an annual decline of 23.7 per cent.

Calls were made by the Liberal Democrats for the mortgage sector and government to find means of returning "responsible lending".

The political party said there was a "very serious problem of mortgage supply".