Market News

UK Lenders See Growing Mortgage Demand Even as Defaults Rise - BLOOMBERG

JANUARY 18, 2024

(Bloomberg) -- UK lenders expect homebuyers to return to the mortgage market in the coming months even as the strain of high interest rates triggers a pickup in defaults on home loans and credit cards, a Bank of England survey found.

Its quarterly Credit Conditions Survey showed that banks saw a drop-off in demand for secured lending in the final quarter of 2023 but expect a rebound in the first quarter of this year.

The survey released Thursday will add to growing optimism in the housing market that the tumble in mortgage rates in recent months is tempting more buyers back, helping to stabilize prices. 

The figures also revealed the toll that 14 back-to-back interest rate rises by the BOE has taken on households. Default rates on mortgages and unsecured lending, including credit cards, rose in the fourth quarter and is expected to climb again in the first three months of 2024.

An index measuring losses given default on mortgages, the estimated amount a lender loses when a borrower defaults, rose to the highest since 2009 at the end of last year.


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