According to the Bank of England, the number of mortgage approvals fell to 48,000 last month, (June) compared to 51,000 in May. Although a 15% seasonal rise in the value of mortgage lending increased to £13.1bn, up from £11.4bn in May offers a slight marked improvement from the £12.2bn of June last year, the current market conditions still remain stagnated.
Lending in the BTL sector is still constrained, despite tenant demand. Last year buy-to-let lending represented 65% of total mortgages according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. As the market has seen a rise in properties for sale in response to the abolition of the HIP, mortgage lending is still very much restricted and there is little movement for both vendors and sellers.
Those who have considered renting their homes as a result of the stagnated market conditions also face opposition by lenders. Homeowners are warned that if they rent their property without notification to their lender, they will be considered to be in breach of their mortgage and can face fines and penalties. Before 2008, lenders had little issue giving permission to homeowners renting their properties. These ‘consent-to-let’ agreements were considered a cheaper alternative than transferring mortgages to buy-to-let packages. However in today’s economical climate, many lenders have restricted these policies, which granted such permission and are now enforcing stricter rules by imposing buy-to let deals in such circumstances where homeowners feel the need to rent their properties and strapping on fees, higher interest rates and exit fees.
Government News Update
In response to growing concern that homeowners may face repossession, Housing Minister Grant Shapps has confirmed that the Homeowners Mortgage Support and Mortgage Rescue Scheme will continue throughout 2010.