According to figures released by the British Bank’s Association (BBA) this morning, UK mortgage approvals climbed from an upwardly revised 41,644 to 41,807 in August, outpacing expectations that approvals would have risen to 41,700 and reaching the highest levels since February.
Markets were upbeat about the data as it shows an 11 per cent increase in approvals over the same point last year, suggesting that the UK’s housing market is showing resilience in the face of ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
Analysts also suggest that the housing market has entered “Goldilocks territory” where activity and prices are rising but not so quickly as to prevent first time buyers from entering the market.
Commenting on the Report, UK Finance’s Senior Economist Mohammad Jamei said; “Housing market activity is in Goldilocks territory, growing only modestly since the start of the year, though the mix of activity has shifted towards first-time buyers, away from buy-to-let and cash.”
Meanwhile, the euro tumbled even further earlier this morning following a slip in French business sentiment.
According to data published by French statistical office Insee, France’s business confidence index dipped from 111 to 110 in September, disappointing investors who had expected it to hold steady.
This added further pressure to the euro, which has already suffered this week following a hollow victory for Angela Merkel in the German elections over the weekend, with the Chancellor now facing the task of finding new allies to form a coalition after the SPD moved into the opposition after historic losses to the far-right AfD party.
Looking ahead, the GBP/EUR exchange rate may slip later today following a meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May and European Council President Donald Tusk, the first meeting between the pair since the PM laid out plans for a two-year transition period after Brexit.
With only a month until the EU will make its decision on whether enough progress has been made in negotiations to pursue trade talks with the UK, May will be hoping that her offer of a €20bn cash payment will have helped to end the current deadlock, with investors keen to see Tusk’s reaction to her proposals.
Meanwhile, the euro may stumble again tomorrow should France’s consumer confidence measure also have slipped in September.