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Mortgage approvals at highest level for more than a year

The number of mortgage approvals has reached its highest level for more than a year, according to figures released by the Bank of England (BoE).

The Bank’s latest Trends in Lending report showed that approvals for home loans rose from 44,169 in May to a total of 47,584 in June. It was the fifth successive monthly rise. The report says the figures suggest that mortgage lending for house purchase may continue to strengthen in coming months.

The findings are backed up by separate research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders which showed that gross mortgage lending reached £12.3bn in June - the highest for six months and a 17% increase on the June figure of £10.5bn.

This partly reflected seasonal factors but the BoE report points to a growing sense of optimism. "The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ new buyer enquiries balance has continued to rise in recent months, indicating that demand for mortgages for house purchase may rise further. And the major UK lenders have reported rising applications for house purchase mortgages."

The Land Registry reported that house prices rose by 0.1% in June - the first monthly rise since January 2008.

It is still early days, of course, but the various findings from different sources are encouraging and suggest that the worst may be over and we can now look forward to some stability in the housing market.

It’s thought that these early signs of recovery will tempt many sellers back into the market. If so, they should be aware that the procedures have changed considerably over the last two years.

Sellers must provide a Home Information Pack (HIP) for potential buyers as soon as a property is put on the market. The HIP must have an index and include various documents such as an Energy Performance Certificate - which grades the property’s energy efficiency - the terms of sale, proof of title and boundaries from the Land Registry, and the results of local searches.

Sellers must also include a Property Information Questionnaire covering areas such as the property’s service charges, flood risk information, structural damage, gas and electricity safety and parking arrangements.

Please contact us if you would like more information about HIPs or any aspect of buying and selling a property.

If you wish to make an appointment, or ask us a question please contact us.