Housing market shows signs of improvement

The Momentum UK Team 26 November 2012

October saw a nine month high in mortgage approvals, but numbers still reveal dangers of over over optimistic attitudes towards a resurgent UK housing market.

The recent BBA Statistics reveal the UK as a whole saw a general increase in approval ratings, as successful mortgage approvals reached 33,039 in October, the highest level in nine months. The summer saw a steady growth in approval rates up from 30,952 in August.

The BBA’s findings drew paralells with a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors who also recorded a rise in October activity with buyer inquiries and agreed sales both rising at their fastest recorded level since December 2009.

However, regardless of the evidence that suggests oncoming growth, commentators on the market warn that undue optimism is to be avoided despite the apparent stability.

Dan McLeod, director of estate agents Atkinson McLeod, said;

"The property market as a whole remains a shadow of its former self. We'll see sporadic upticks in activity, as we're seeing now, but the market will never rebound in earnest.

Anyone who looks at this data as the beginning of a recovery in the property market is kidding themselves”

The number for October of 33,039 approval is actually down 4.5% on the previous October. Furthermore this is also 59.9% down on the monthly average of 55,154 since 1997.

Such inconsistencies in growth can be shown in this years figures for June,  which saw a noticeable dip as approval rates fell to 26,162. The double bank holiday of that month was credited for the drop and shows that temperamentality still remains within the industry.

McLeod went on to say:

“If you're trying to buy a property with anything less than a 15% deposit, it's touch and go from day one. 10% deposit or less and the odds are immediately stacked against you.”