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  • Mal McCallion

Mortgage approvals jump unexpectedly

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Mortgage approvals jumped unexpectedly in June 2023, with nearly 55,000 approved according to Bank of England data.

This begs the question - is the predicted doom for the housing market overplayed?

Short answer - yep.

Slightly longer answer - the hype around house prices going up or down has been an ever-present. I remember reading, at least 15 years ago, how the Daily Express had a rule that each week there had to be at least one front-page headline about Diana, Princess of Wales, and one about house prices, because these were things they knew sold their newspapers.

(Some might argue they're still at it; Diana then house prices ...)

So, hyperventilating about house prices is nothing new. But it is, of course, true that the market is going through a reset after all of the heat of the last couple of years. I remember that May day in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, when agents came blinking into the light as they were set free from lockdown in order to keep the market alive. With very little else to do - and quality of life (and death) on their minds - the UK's homeowners came to the table and sold and bought with abandon.

Those discretionary sales are much lower now, of course. However, it seems that the uncertainty that has gripped the market since the crazy days of Liz Truss and her kami-Kwasi mini-budget is starting to unwind. June's surprise jump in mortgage deals could be those making the most of some realistic Offers in Principle that might be disappearing otherwise. It's also summer and people want to go away on holiday with things like this certain, so they can relax.

Overall, it's good that people aren't being scared out of chasing their dream moves just because the Express (or Mail, or Mirror, or Sun) say they ought to be. I'm reasonably confident that the rest of the year will continue to surprise on the upside - that widely-predicted crash remains, I think, just a newspaper baron's fever dream.

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