The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has reported that gross mortgage borrowing totalled £12.2 billion in June.
This total was 4% higher than in June 2015. Borrowing in the first half of 2016 was £79.9 billion compared with £63.6 billion in the same period of 2015.
The BBA said house purchase approval numbers have bounced back a little from the low numbers seen in April (following the surge in the first few months of 2016) but are still some 11% lower than in June 2015. However, in the first half of 2016 numbers were 5.5% higher than in the same period of 2015.
Consumer credit continues to show annual growth of over 6% possibly reflecting uncertainty and in the case of personal loans and overdrafts favourable interest rates.
Dr Rebecca Harding, chief economist at the BBA, said: “This month’s high street banking data reflects the uncertainty that was felt ahead of the EU referendum.
“Business borrowing in June dropped for the first time in 2016, signalling that investment decisions were being delayed until after the vote.
“Mortgage lending and approvals also fell back in June but remain above the low levels seen in April following the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge.
“Overall, business confidence was clearly fragile in anticipation of the outcome of the vote, but these results are not a verdict on the health of the economy post-Brexit. We won’t start to see that data come through until the autumn and any trends before then should not be over-interpreted.”
Andrew McPhillips, chief economist at Yorkshire Building Society, added: “These figures show that homebuyers chose not to postpone getting on the housing ladder despite uncertainty around the EU referendum. That said, it’s important to note that increases in lending are not solely influenced by movements in demand, but also by house prices.
“Current levels of house price inflation are putting upwards pressure on the size of the loans people are taking out which is, in turn, driving up mortgage lending. There was a 4.9% monthly increase in property transactions in June, according to HMRC, and the fact that lending is increasing on a much steeper scale shows how house price increases are affecting the mortgage market.
“Looking at the long-term trends, property transactions are actually down by 10.2% on last year, compared to a 4% increase in lending over the same period. The consequence of increasing house prices is that many people are being pushed out of the market due to the amount of money required to get on the property ladder. There is a clear need for more homes to be built, which should act to reduce house price inflation and help to make homes more affordable.”