Figuring out the economy
Mortgage activity has shot up as housebuyers find competitive deals, according to new figures from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).
The BBA said that approvals had risen by 14% in September 2015 compared to the year before.
It partly placed the increase on first-time buyers being able to find a good deal amid competitive mortgage rates on the market.
Good news for all those seeking to buy a property or re-mortgage, especially with inflation remaining low and interest rates unlikely to rise until later in 2016.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has predicted that house prices will rise 5.6% this year, indicating the continuing strength of the market.
The figures came as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy grew by 0.5% in July to September – just slightly down on the 0.7% growth in April to June.
The ONS said that retail sales also grew in September – up by 6.5% compared with 2014.
They credited the Rugby World Cup with helping to buoy sales at the tills. Shop prices were also down amid falling inflation.
With so many different indicators of economic activity, it is important to retain a perspective. Experts will pour over the figures but the economy is still growing.
Most analysts don’t see an interest rate rise arriving until the second quarter of 2016 at the earliest.
It is vital that the Government is more proactive to encourage greater house building and that it finds ways of supporting the construction sector.
Much will depend on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement at the end of November but it is important to keep public confidence in the economy while taking measures to support business and investment.
Mortgage activity has shot up as housebuyers find competitive deals, according to new figures from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA)….