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UK mortgage approvals hit post-Brexit high in September

UK mortgage approvals rose last month as the housing market continued to show signs of recovery following June's vote to leave the EU, according to fresh data from the Bank of England.

But despite the pick-up in mortgage activity levels, the number of mortgage approvals remained below its level in the months running up to the EU vote.

The volume of mortgage approvals for house purchases rose from 60,984 in August to 62,932 in September – the highest since June.

Separate data from the British Bankers’ Association released last week had also shown the number of mortgages approved by banks increased last month from a 19-month low set in August, but were still 15% down on a year earlier.

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent, said: “The figures show a welcome bounce back in lending from the very disappointing figures the previous month.

“While bearing in mind that these numbers are a little historical, they reiterate what we are seeing on the ground that following an initial pause buyers are getting back to business, albeit a bit more cautiously.”

But despite the rise in the volume of mortgage approvals, September was the worst month for remortgaging since the EU referendum, new figures from conveyancing firm LMS show.

The research found that remortgaging accounted for just 25% of total gross lending in September, the lowest level since March 2016, when there was a significant increase in home purchases and buy-to-let activity before the change to stamp duty on second homes was introduced.

“The recent weeks and months have been tainted with uncertainty. Since the vote to leave the European Union there has been some doubt and ambiguity surrounding the future of the nation’s economy,” said Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS.

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