Buy-to-let sales defy July mortgage slump

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UK mortgage sales decreased by £1.8 billion in July, down 10.8% on the previous month, according to Equifax Touchstone analysis.

Buy-to-let figures were resistant to the general decline, down by just 0.2% (£3.9 million) to £2.6 billion, while residential sales dropped by 12.8% (£1.8 billion) to £12.2 billion. Overall, mortgage sales for the month totalled £14.8 billion, up 10.8% year-on-year.
All regions across the UK suffered a significant fall in sales. Scotland suffered the biggest slump of 19.8%, followed closely by Northern Ireland (-18.5%), and the South East (-15.4%).
John Driscoll, Director at Equifax Touchstone, said: “These figures show how volatile the mortgage market can be. Sales have tumbled in July, with every region suffering substantial declines as buyers are put off by continuing political and economic uncertainty, coupled with the worrying gap between inflation and wage growth. These circumstances may be further compounded by the potential for an interest rate hike as early as September, driven by continued pressure on the pound.
“On a more optimistic note, mortgage sales are up over 10% year-on-year and a dip in sales for July is not uncommon; however, as the summer period comes to a close, the long-term outlook for the market still remains very unclear.”

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