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Mortgage agreements rose sharply in March

Figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) shown that some 31,000 mortgages were agreed in March, up 29% from the previous month. While the figure is still 33% down on March 2008 it does show a significant increase in activity in the mortgage market. Are we now seeing the upturn which many have been talking about for some weeks?

As we move towards the end of May it is worthwhile remembering that these figures from March are now effectively out of date although they do reflect the increase in confidence we saw in March from the Bank of England. While the situation seems to have died down slightly in April and May it will be interesting to see how the figures for April mortgage applications pan out as there is concern that those unable to put down a substantial deposit are still effectively locked out of the market.

When you consider that first-time buyers are now expected to step forward with a 25% deposit, against a figure of 11% just 12 months earlier, the landscape has changed significantly for this particular group of mortgage applicants. While there are hopes that the 25% deposit level will fall in due course, at this moment in time there are no signs of a reduction.

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