Online property portals experienced a big rise in website visitors towards the end of last year. Well, they're not just browsing. They're buying, with mortgage approvals at their highest level for years.
Recently published figures from industry body UK Finance showed that mortgage approvals stood at 982,000 (including remortgages) for the whole of last year, the highest since 2009.
Over 500,000 approvals were for house purchases, with 48,000 of these coming in December. Both are the highest numbers since 2015.
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club said:
“December’s jump in mortgage approvals adds to a growing amount of firmer data and survey evidence suggesting that the housing market could well be changing up a gear.
The higher number of mortgage approvals follows figures from Rightmove, showing a jump in house prices of 2.3% in December, the biggest monthly increase since their index began in 2002.
Archer discourages over-optimism, pointing out that EY are still predicting a modest rise of 2.8% for 2020.