Mortgage approvals

UK Mortgage approvals are the key leading housing market indicator, in our view. A mortgage approval today typically leads to a housing transition in three months time. However, the current rush of activity in the housing market following a period of closure and the announcement of the Stamp Duty Holiday has led to bottlenecks in the system and transaction times have lengthened, but we expect a mean reversion at some point.


Latest UK Mortgage approvals

Key UK mortgage approval statistics and figures:


Chart of recent UK mortgage approvals

UK mortgage approvals twindig anthony codling

The data for this chart can be found at the end of this article



UK mortgage approval commentary

UK mortgage approvals in February 2021 were 30% above their 5 year average level. It is remarkable that mortgage approvals are so high in the middle of a global pandemic. When we are being encouraged to stay at home to protect lives an awful lot of households are moving house. The latest data was collected before Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extension to the Stamp Duty Holiday in his March 2021 Budget. The Stamp Duty Holiday was extended from 31 March 2021 to 30 June 2021 with a further, although less generous extension from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021. We expect mortgage approvals to increase in the coming months as a direct result of the Stamp Duty Holiday extension. Those buying a house costing less than £500,000 currently have no Stamp Duty to pay. The maximum saving is £15,000, however based on average UK house prices of around £250,000 the average saving is less than £2,500.  


Chart of long term UK Mortgage approvals


Chart UK mortgage approvals long run twindig anthony codling bank of england


Credit Conditions Survey 

The latest Bank of England Credit Conditions survey (21 Jan 21) reported that mortgage supply is likely to increase in the coming quarter and than mortgage speads to Bank Rate and Swap Rates is likely to narrow. This means that the mortgage rates charged on mortgages is likely to reduce in the coming months


Future publication dates for UK Mortgage approvals



UK Mortgage approval data since January 2018

Date    Mortgage Approvals ('000)
Jan 18 66.9
Feb 18 64.0
Mar 18 63.6
Apr 18 63.6
May 18 65.0
Jun 18 65.6
Jul 18 64.9
Aug 18 66.2
Sep 18 65.6
Oct 18 67.1
Nov 18 64.5
Dec 18 64.3
Jan 19 65.9
Feb 19 65.3
Mar 19 62.6
Apr 19 66.4
May 19 66.0
Jun 19 67.1
Jul 19 68.1
Aug 19 66.6
Sep 19 66.0
Oct 19 64.2
Nov 19 64.4
Dec 19 66.2
Jan 20 69.8
Feb 20 73.4
Mar 20 56.9
Apr 20 16.1
May 20 9.4
Jun 20 40.7
Jul 20 67.8
Aug 20 86.0
Sep 20 92.0
Oct 20 97.3
Nov 20 103.7
Dec 20 101.3
Jan 21 97.4
Feb 21 87.7

Source: Bank of England

Bank of England Statistical Tables