Residential chartered surveyor, e.serv, has revealed that a spike in mortgage approvals over December meant the housing market “ended the year on a high”.
Its latest Mortgage Monitor found that 66,253 residential mortgages were approved during the final month of 2019, marking a 1.9% increase from November and a 2.7% year on year increase.
The group suggested that this “spike” in activity was due to the general election result, which “put an end to months of speculation and uncertainty”.
First-time buyers were also “major beneficiaries” of low rates towards the end of 2019, according to the analysis. Existing homeowners were also able to take advantage of “increased competition” between mortgage lenders.
Mid-market borrowers also increased their share of the market to 47.2%, resulting in mortgages approved to small deposit borrowers fell from 27.7% to 25.5% in December. Meanwhile mortgages approved to large deposit borrowers fell from 28.9% to 27.3% in the same month.
The survey also found that Yorkshire was the best region for small deposit buyers throughout the year. In December, 32.3% of all mortgages in this region went to small deposit borrowers, which is “far higher than any other region”.
Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “There have been ups and downs over the course of the year but 2019 ended on a positive note for the UK mortgage market.
“December’s decisive election result does seem to have put an end to the atmosphere of uncertainty which has dominated the property market this year. With more certainty on the future, it appears that many new buyers and existing homeowners have chosen to enter the market, leading to a spike in approvals in December.”