Mortgage approvals rise

Mortgage approvals have increased for the third month in a row, according to figures from the British Bankers’ Association. There were 28,179 mortgages approved for house purchases in February, up from 24,278 in January, however, the figure was still 31 per cent lower than a year earlier. The rise has been attributed to the banks’ increased market share after handouts from the government.

Meanwhile borrowers are flocking back to fixed rate deals, as they look to protect themselves from rate hikes in the future. Legal & General found that during the first quarter of 2016, 77 per cent of residential mortgage customers chose a fixed rate deal, compared to 65 per cent in the last quarter of 2015. Of buy-to-let borrowers 68 per cent choose fixed rate mortgages between January and the end of March, up from 43 per cent at the end of last year.