Mortgage enquiries fall

03 September 2004
New figures point to a sharp fall in the number of new mortgage enquiries.

Moneynet.co.uk recorded a decline of almost 50 per cent in the numbers of buyers looking to take out new mortgages between March 2004 and the end of August.

At the beginning of March 37,000 people made mortgage enquiries through the Moneynet.co.uk service. However, by the end of August this figure had fallen to just 20,000.

Moneynet.co.uk is blaming the decrease in numbers on the past five base rate rises, suggesting buyers' confidence has plummeted.

Chief executive Richard Brown warned that the fall off in enquiry levels was hard evidence of a sharp slowdown in the UK's formerly robust property market.

"The figures speak for themselves: we had anticipated a tailing off in enquires in the wake of faltering consumer confidence, but getting on for a 50 per cent drop suggests it is going to be a difficult autumn period, particularly for those trying to sell property."

The Bank of England recently revealed that the number of mortgage approvals fell by 14 per cent, from 112,000 down to 97,000 - the biggest slump since the depths of the property recession in 1993.

Moneynet's Mr Brown continued: "House price falls go hand in hand with a fall off in enquiries for new mortgages. It stands to reason that if fewer people are taking out mortgages then fewer properties are being sold. And that means price falls are inevitable as sellers chase fewer buyers.
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