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BoE Comment: Record-setting March the peak of an unprecedented year

John Phillips, national operations director, Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart said:

“This year has been unprecedented in terms of the volume of mortgages, and March was possibly the peak in an impressive climb. Partially driven by a desire to beat the initial stamp duty deadline, we’ve had a continuous stream of clients looking for mortgages in the first quarter of 2021.

“With the record interest in moving, brokers and lenders deserve a great deal of credit for the huge number of mortgages that have been approved recently. Our brokers have delivered exceptional service while working from home, and as a result we are giving experienced brokers the option to work from home for the future.

“With other companies in a variety of industries making similar decisions, these changing working practices should fuel the desire to move, so the market should remain busy for the next few months at least.”

Jonathan Sealey, CEO at specialist lender Hope Capital, said:

“Everybody expected the stamp duty holiday to drive activity especially as the deadline loomed closer, but to reach the highest level of borrowing in almost 30 years is exceptional.

“As borrowing follows approvals, we are likely to see some fall back in a couple of months, as we have seen with approvals which have come down in March from a peak in November - although still higher than a-year-ago.

“But this has to be seen as yet more positive news for the property market and the wider economy, off the back of the return of 95% LTV mortgage products and various government initiatives announced at the last Budget in March.

“However the pressure on the sector to meet the unprecedented level of demand over recent months has highlighted the benefits of looking at specialist lenders which were able to step up when the high street stepped back at a crucial time for homebuyers.”

Published: 04 May 2021