Mortgage approvals for house purchases fell slightly to 71,000 in February, from 73,800 in January, according to the latest Money and Credit statistics from the Bank of England. However, approvals remain above the 12-month pre-pandemic average up to February 2020 of 66,700.
With some experts forecasting inflation to rise above 8% and stay there for most of 2022, more than 4 in 5 landlords (83%) are ‘concerned or very concerned’ that rising inflation will negatively impact their ability to continue to invest profitably in UK rental property. The survey found that concern about the impact of rising inflation on landlords' portfolio investments is prompting measures to mitigate rising costs, but it won’t drive a wholesale change in investment behaviour.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has voted 8-1 to increase Bank Rate from 0.5% to 0.75%, the third consecutive increase. Six weeks ago, the MPC voted 5-4 to increase Bank Rate from 0.25% to 0.5% and four members voted to increase rates by a larger 0.5 percentage points, to 0.75%.
Michael Saunders, member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, believes that "prompt tightening" of Bank Rate could help limit the total scale of tightening that will be needed to return inflation to target. Saunders voted for a larger 50bp increase in interest rates at the MPC's February meeting, but stressed that "does not necessarily imply that I will vote for 50bp steps in the event that rates have to rise further". However, during a speech at the University of East Anglia, he said that "risks are on the side of stronger and more persistent inflation pressures than implied by the February MPR forecast".
New FCA rules that came into force in January 2022 to tackle the practice of 'price walking' have instigated the biggest monthly jump in home and motor insurance premiums in over eight years. The data provides an aggregated view of average insurance premium movements across the big four price comparison websites and key direct insurers.