John Phillips on UK Finance stats – a shift away from remortgage to purchase was bound to happen sooner or later

John Phillips, national operations director at Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart said: “These latest figures from UK Finance continue the shift we saw from the regional lending trends at the end of last month – an increase in home purchase mortgage lending and a fall in remortgage approvals.

“We knew there had to be a change at some point, as all those people who had been delaying buying because if Brexit would eventually decide to make a move, and now we can see that change has happened, with home purchase approvals at their highest level since June 2016, which is just after the referendum.

“And I hate to say it, but I think this is about Brexit. The deadline for leaving Europe has already been delayed until October 31, and in all likelihood – thanks to a change in Prime Minister between now and then – will be delayed again. House prices are relatively steady, rates are still low and incentives like Help to Buy are still in place, so now is a good time to buy.

Plus, of course, home purchase always spikes over the summer so I think we will see levels rise further going into the next few months.

“We can see that remortgage levels are down, but I don’t think that is particularly significant. There had been such a huge flurry of remortgage business over the past 18 months that it couldn’t stay at those levels forever so it was almost inevitable that it would start to slow down.”