MORTGAGE APPROVALS AT RECORD LEVELS IN 2020 WITH THE WEST MIDLANDS THE MOST POPULAR HOUSE PURCHASING REGION
Trussle saw mortgage approvals for home purchases soar by 154% in the second half of 2020¹
Trussle reports 244% growth in mortgage approvals for home purchases in West Midlands²
Delays in the market mean it now takes 134 days to purchase a property in the UK from sign up to completion³
28th January 2021 - New data by online mortgage broker Trussle has revealed mortgage approvals for home purchases rose by 154% in the second half of 2020 and also identifies the regions which saw the strongest mortgage approvals throughout 2020.⁴
Comparing mortgage approvals between the first and second halves of 2020, Trussle saw an increase in home purchases across all parts of the UK, but locations such as the West Midlands and the South West showed the largest increase, growing by 244% and 236% respectively.⁵ In comparison, mortgage approval growth increased by just 147% in London, as the national lockdowns led people to reassess their love for city living.⁶
Trussle attributes the strong growth in mortgage approvals to a number of factors. Pent up demand from buyers who were unable to purchase a new home during the first lockdown was likely a key contributor. In addition, when the market did reopen, the Government’s stamp duty holiday was also key to driving demand. This was particularly apparent among next-time buyers, who could save up to £15,000 if they complete their property purchase before 31st March.⁷
The strong demand reported across the second half of 2020 has also carried into 2021 and, as a result of delays across the market, it currently takes 134 days to complete a property purchase in the UK.⁸
Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, comments: ”Appetite for property remained incredibly strong despite the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic, which placed many households under a huge amount of financial strain. Lenders had to make big changes to their internal processes to accommodate a working from home set up and, despite experiencing some delays in the market, mortgage approvals rose to the highest level in 13 years during November last year.⁹
Buyers opting to purchase homes in regional locations, which are typically more rural, was no doubt the property trend of 2020.¹⁰ The restrictions imposed during national lockdowns led many to prioritise more affordable bigger properties, with access to external space. But, only time will tell if this is a long term trend. If 2021 sees us able to return to some form of normality, old priorities of location over space and access to workplaces and amenities might mean people start flooding back into cities.”
The rise in mortgage approvals across rural locations follows previous research from Trussle, which suggested first time buyers are among those losing interest in city living. A survey of 2,000 first time buyers carried out by the online mortgage broker found that 71% of first time buyers are now planning to buy in towns, suburbs and rural locations.¹¹
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1. Trussle internal data, the increase in mortgage approvals (purchase only) between 1H 2020 and 2H 2020
2. Trussle internal data January 2021 which compared mortgage approvals 1H 2020 vs 2H 2020
3. Based on the average signup-to-completion time over the last 90 days at Trussle - figure collected 11 January 2021
4. Trussle internal data Nov’18-Oct’19 vs Nov’19-Oct’20
5. Trussle internal data January 2021 which compared mortgage approvals 1H 2020 vs 2H 2020
6. Trussle internal data January 2021 which compared mortgage approvals 1H 2020 vs 2H 2020
8. Based on the average signup-to-completion time over the last 90 days at Trussle - figure collected 11 January 2021
11. Trussle research October 2020
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