30 Nov 2015

Mortgage market continues to slow

October saw a 8.5% weaker growth rate than same period last year
Rising demand for properties outside of London

Equifax Touchstone analysis of the intermediary marketplace shows mortgage sales growth has significantly slowed in the past month. Residential and buy-to-let mortgage sales increased by only 1.2% last month from September, a value increase of £175m. This is a 7.6% weaker growth rate than the previous month and 8.5% weaker growth rate than the same period in 2014.

Buy-to-let mortgage sales fell by 0.5% in October, while residential sales grew marginally at 1.7%. However, there were significant regional variations in buy-to-let mortgage sales. In London, sales fell by 1.1%, whilst in the North West they grew by an impressive 10.4%.

Brighton proved the strongest growth hotspot in the UK, with a £27.8m growth in residential and buy-to-let mortgage sales (see table below). Milton Keynes followed closely in second place, with a £26.6m growth.

Post Area    Market Growth
Brighton (BN)    £27.8m
Milton Keynes (MK)    £26.6m
London EC (EC)    £22.7m
Bristol (BS)    £19m
Colchester (CO)    £18m
Chelmsford (CM)    £17.9m
Newcastle Upon Tyne (NE)    £15.1m
Stockport (SK)    £15m
London W (W)    £13.7m
Manchester (M)    £13.4m

Looking at the overall mortgage sales from January to October this year, they were 19.4% stronger than for the same period in 2014, a total increase of £23.1 billion. Year-to-date residential mortgage sales are up 16.2% (£15.2 billion) year-on-year and buy-to-let sales by 31.7% (£7.9 billion).

The data from Equifax Touchstone, which covers 92% of the intermediated lending market, shows that the average value of a residential mortgage in October was £186,163 (October 2014: £173,523) and £158,790 for buy-to-let (October 2014: £145,433).

Iain Hill, Relationship Manager, Equifax Touchstone, says: “Market growth has softened. With October mortgage sales volumes increasing by only 1.2% it certainly indicates that buyer confidence is being affected by economic and housing market uncertainty. As we rapidly approach the holiday period it will be very interesting to see if there is a November rally or if the year will end quietly. With the surprise announcement that stamp duty on buy-to-let properties is increasing by 3% we may see landlords accelerate plans to beat the April deadline.”

Equifax Touchstone utilises intermediary and customer profiling tools to provide financial services providers with a detailed understanding of their marketplace and client base.