The Biggest Threat to the UK Housing Market

Mortgage rates are steadily ticking higher.

Will rising mortgage rates stall the housing recovery?
Will rising mortgage rates stall the housing recovery?

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Welcome to Money Distilled. I’m John Stepek. Every week day I look at the biggest stories in markets and economics, and explain what it all means for your money.

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The big threat to the UK housing market this year

This morning we got the latest chunk of data on the state of the UK housing market, and it suggests that the recovery continues.

According to the Bank of England, mortgage approvals for new home purchase picked up again in March. Overall, there were 61,300 approvals, up from 60,500 in February.

For perspective, that’s getting close to the 2014 to 2019 monthly average of around 66,000, as shown on the chart below. In case it’s not obvious, I’ve chosen those years as they are the closest thing to a recent “stable” economic period for the housing market, coming before the pandemic, and after the market had broadly recovered from 2008.

UK Mortgage Approvals Continue To Recover | Numbers close in on the pre-pandemic "norm"

What’s behind this recovery? You could point to a number of things. There’s got to be an element of pent-up demand here. When you want to move, you want to move, and you’re only going to delay for so long — particularly when monthly rents are so expensive too.

Read More Source Bloomberg