Mortgage approvals in the UK have been on a downward trend, raising questions about the future of the housing market. Open Property Group has conducted in-depth research into the current state of UK mortgage approvals and sought exclusive insights from industry experts. Here’s what the experts had to say:

Question 1 – Do you forecast an uplift in UK Mortgage Approvals within the next 12 months?

Ben Grey from CHN Financial Consultancy expresses a pessimistic view, suggesting that the challenges in the mortgage approval process go beyond applicants. Valuers are becoming increasingly cautious, potentially causing buyers to struggle with the valuation process and resulting in the need for extra funds or renegotiations.

In contrast, Mark Hansard from First Financial is more optimistic, expecting an uptick in approvals. He believes that people are becoming more accepting of slightly higher interest rates and mentions that there is a surplus of properties in the market as Buy-To-Let landlords sell some of their portfolios, presenting opportunities for first-time buyers.

Question 2 – Have you spotted any Mortgage Approval patterns across specific regions?

Ben Grey notes that the stricter valuations are not necessarily region-specific but are more prevalent in areas where house prices have experienced recent inflation.

Question 3 – Have you spotted any Mortgage Approval patterns based on property type?

Wayne Hill from M&G Mortgages observes that more people are opting for flats over houses in the transactions they have processed.

Question 4 – Have you spotted any Mortgage Approval patterns based on first-time or second-time buyers?

Wayne Hill mentions that their approvals are predominantly first-time buyers rather than second-time movers. He suggests that existing homeowners are cautious about taking on larger mortgages, especially as interest rates rise.

Mark Hansard from First Financial provides insights into changes in lending criteria, such as increased income multiples for higher earners and greater flexibility for interest-only mortgages with suitable repayment plans. He sees first-time buyers getting accustomed to interest rates between 3% and 4.5%, which he views as a positive development.

Open Property Group, known for assisting homeowners in selling their properties quickly, acknowledges the market’s ongoing uncertainty but notes that there is now a clearer understanding of what the “new normal” in terms of interest rates may look like compared to a year ago. They suggest that varying market conditions indicate a more cautious outlook for the future.

For the full Expert Commentary Q&A, visit