March sees record mortgage borrowing
Bank of England (BoE) figures show that UK homeowners borrowed a record £11.8bn more on mortgages than they repaid in March, with market activity driven by the stamp duty holiday and low mortgage rates. Gross mortgage borrowing hit £35.6bn in March, with buyers looking to tie up property purchases ahead of the end of the stamp duty holiday, a tax break that was extended in the recent Budget. Although the number of new mortgage approvals dropped from 87,000 to 83,000 in March, they remained higher than the 73,000 recorded in February 2020 – the last month before the UK rolled out pandemic-related restrictions. Meanwhile, the BoE said deposits into accounts “remained strong” in March, with £16.2bn more deposited than withdrawn – exceeding the £4.7bn monthly average for the year to February 2020. The report also reveals a net consumer credit repayment of £5 35m, including people’s borrowing using credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts.