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UK mortgage borrowing down £2bn in October, BoE says

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Britons are increasingly putting their home buying or moving plans on hold and stashing their cash in fixed term savings as the cost of living crisis bites, new data has revealed.

Net mortgage borrowing by individuals fell from £5.9billion in September to £4billion in October, according to the latest Bank of England figures.

Mortgage approvals for house purchases also fell by more than 10 per cent to 59,000 in October, down from 66,000 in September, suggesting homebuying appetite is dissipating amid rising mortgage rates.

This is also 20 per cent down on the 74,400 mortgage approvals recorded in August.

The figures show the effects of the mini-Budget published by Liz Truss’ Government on 23 September, which spooked the markets with unfunded tax cuts – which have now largely been reversed – and led to a spike in mortgage rates.

Appetite waning? The number of mortgages approved in October fell more than 10% compared to September, as the cost of borrowing to buy a home went up

Appetite waning? The number of mortgages approved in October fell more than 10% compared to September, as the cost of borrowing to buy a home went up

Andrew Codling, chief executive of the property platform, Twindig said: ‘Mortgage approvals plummeted in October as the mini-Budget wreaked havoc on the housing market, taking mortgage approvals to their lowest level since June 2020.

‘This is clearly not a good sign as mortgage approvals are, in our view, the best housing market lead indicator. Mortgage approvals today lead to housing transactions in the future.’

> Find best-buy mortgage rates using This is Money’s tool 

The dampening of mortgage demand appears to be linked to rising interest rates.

The ‘effective’ interest rate – the actual interest rate paid – on newly drawn mortgages increased by 25 basis points to 3.09 per cent in October, according to the Bank of England.

However, many homebuyers will have been confronted the prospect of far higher rates over recent weeks. The average two-year fixed rate mortgage is currently 6.08 per cent, according to Moneyfacts.

The reason the Bank of England average is lower is that fixed mortgage rates can be agreed up to six months in advance.  

Steve Seal, chief executive of Bluestone Mortgages said: ‘The aftermath of the mini-Budget continues to take its toll, with a further drop-off in lending activity.

‘While lenders are re-entering the mortgage market after extreme swap rate volatility, there are still strong headwinds lying ahead, which will undoubtedly have an enormous impact on the homeownership dream.’

The prospect of falling house prices may also be preventing people from buying a home right now. 

It is a particular concern for first-time buyers, as they often buy with small deposits and are at greater risk of negative equity if the value of their property goes down.  

Past their peak: Mortgage rates have been falling from their October highs in recent weeks

Past their peak: Mortgage rates have been falling from their October highs in recent weeks 

But despite the Bank of England’s figures, there are at least signs that mortgage rates are falling from their recent peaks. 

Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at investment platform Bestinvest, said: ‘With the political and financial turbulence easing since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister following Liz Truss’ resignation on October 21, the lowest two-year fix has now dipped to just over 5 per cent.

‘With the markets reassured on fiscal stability after the Autumn Statement and given the Bank of England’s gloomy recession forecast earlier this month, the Bank is now expected to raise interest rates from the current level of 3 per cent to around 4.25 per cent to 4.5 per cent – a slightly more palatable peak than the 6 per cent or more that had been feared after the Kwarteng mini-Budget.

‘With the number of mortgage products available also recovering, it means banks are competing for new customers once again – increasing the chances for new buyers and those looking to refinance of securing a better deal.’

Britons pile money into fixed rate savings 

Whilst mortgage appetite is falling, Britons who can afford it continue to pour much of their spare cash into savings.

Households deposited an additional £6.2billion with banks and building societies in October, according to the Bank of England.

Fixed rate savings appeared to be the flavour of the month, with £11.3billion stashed into these accounts, up from just £2.9 billion in September.

Fixed rate savings deals typically allow savers to lock their money away for between one and five years in return for higher rates.

> Find the best fixed savings rates using This is Money’s independent tables 

The flood of money into fixed rate savings was however partly offset by the fact that money in easy-access savings accounts fell by £4.8billion overall. 

Some of this money may have been transferred into fixed rate accounts, but it could also show Britons dipping into savings to cope with the rising cost of living. 

Savings rates have been rising to the highest levels seen in more than a decade.

The typical interest rate paid to Britons stashing cash in new fixed rate accounts with banks and building societies rose to 3.26 per cent in October, up from 2.49 per cent in September.

The best fixed rate deals breached the 5 per cent barrier last month. However, in recent weeks they have been falling back.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown said: ‘There was a fixed rate savings frenzy in October, as £11.3billion piled into these accounts – a record high.

‘This was more than eight times as much as went into fixed rate savings in September, and reflects a growing sense that we may be getting near the top of the fixed rate savings market.’

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‘Britain’s shortest house’ measuring just 6ft 5ins tall which ‘dates back to 1758’ goes to auction

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Room for a little one! ‘Britain’s shortest house’ measuring just 6ft 5ins tall which ‘dates back to 1758’ goes to auction with £70,000 guide price

  • ‘Britain’s shortest house’ is just 6ft 5ins tall and is on the market for only £70K
  • The unique property is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth

‘Britain’s shortest house’ standing at just 6ft 5ins tall has gone on sale – for the relatively small price of £70,000.

The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon.

As its name implies, Ye Olde Toll House is a former toll house, which is believed to date back to 1758.

Its yellow exterior is topped off with a thatched roof, covering walls which stand no higher than an average front door.

Despite its miniature size the interior houses an entrance porch, living room, small kitchen, a shower room and one bedroom.

The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

The unique property, with ceilings that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

The unique 6ft 5ins property, that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

The unique 6ft 5ins property, that may skim the tops of some heads, is found in the village of Newton Poppleford near Sidmouth, Devon

On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: 'A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating'

On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: ‘A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating’

There’s also an outdoor space with a log store area and attic space for extra storage.

On the listing, Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers described the property as: ‘A charming detached thatched Toll House for updating.

‘This unique single storey property is believed to date back to 1758 and is situated in the popular East Devon village of Newton Poppleford, which is only four miles from the popular seaside town of Sidmouth.

‘The property is likely to be of interest to a home owner or those looking for a lock-up and leave bolt hole. It could also be of interest to investment purchasers.’

Bidding for the property currently sits at £70k.

You can join the auction here.

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That’s potty! Grade II Listed cottage on sale is mocked for having a toilet in a children’ bedroom

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A Grade II listed cottage on sale for £450,000 has been mocked for having a toilet in the middle of one of the bedrooms.

The detached historic home in Colne, near Burnley, Lancashire, boasts a wealth of original features including mullion windows, inglenook stone fireplace and stone stills. 

But home hunters have been scratching their heads at the design choice of a loo and sink in what appears to be a child’s bedroom. 

The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side.

Bemused Marie Gardiner said: ‘My friend sent me this from Rightmove and it’s freaking me out.

The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side

The toilet has also been adorned with a large sticker featuring Marvel Comic character, Hulk, matching a small novelty Marvel laundry bin to its side

‘Somehow the layout is wrong in every room. Kid’s bedroom is also a toilet.’

Lydia Jane said: ‘That’s an OCD nightmare. Who builds a shower cubicle in front of a bedroom window?’

Marie added: ‘I thought it was maybe a stand up tanning thing?!

To which Lydia replied: ‘Might be, but still.’

It is listed in the property description which reads: ‘One of the bedrooms is separate to the others which is accessed via the spiral staircase and has a WC and wash basin.’

The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner and kitchen with a range oven and has a homely feel.

Three of the bedrooms are located in the main building with the fourth in an annex.

Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms, and wooden animals in the garden.

Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms

Other interesting features include what appears to be a stand up tanning booth in one of the other bedrooms

The key features include it being in a ‘sought after location,’ having a ‘fully fitted modern kitchen,’ ‘three bedrooms’ and ‘large private gardens.’

It is on the market with Petty Real Estate Agents and being advertised on Rightmove.

The property listing reads: ‘Beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage situated in a highly sought after semi rural location near to the amenities offered by Colne town centre.

‘This historic building which formed part of the old Carry Bridge Hall has a wealth of original features throughout such as, mullion windows, inglenook stone fireplace and stone stills.

‘The property comprises an entrance hallway with storage cupboard, spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace with multifuel stove, spiral staircase and patio doors leading to the garden.

‘Fully fitted kitchen which houses a range of modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor.

‘To the first floor is a landing there are three double bedrooms.

The 'beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage' has three of the bedrooms located in the main building with the fourth in an annex

The ‘beautiful three bedroom semi detached Grade II Listed cottage’ has three of the bedrooms located in the main building with the fourth in an annex

Th property listing boasts of a 'spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace' and a spiral staircase

Th property listing boasts of a ‘spacious lounge diner with original stone flagged floor, inglenook stone fireplace’ and a spiral staircase

The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner with a prial staircase which can be used to access some of the bedrooms

 The quaint home features a large modern, living room diner with a prial staircase which can be used to access some of the bedrooms

The three piece family bathroom has a 'contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout'

The three piece family bathroom has a ‘contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout’

Petty Real Estate Agents, with whom the property is up on the market,  described how the property's kitchen 'has a homely feel'

Petty Real Estate Agents, with whom the property is up on the market,  described how the property’s kitchen ‘has a homely feel’

Original features in this historic home near Burnley, Lancashire include mullion windows

Original features in this historic home near Burnley, Lancashire include mullion windows

The four-bedroom home in the 'sought after location' has patio doors leading to the garden

The four-bedroom home in the ‘sought after location’ has patio doors leading to the garden

The 'fully fitted kitchen' features a 'modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor'

The ‘fully fitted kitchen’ features a ‘modern matching wall, base and drawer units, contrasting granite work surfaces, range oven, dishwasher and stairs leading to the first floor’

There is a large private garden area to the rear which is 'mainly laid to the lawn'

There is a large private garden area to the rear which is ‘mainly laid to the lawn’ 

‘One of the bedrooms is separate two the others which is accessed via the spiral staircase and has a WC and wash basin.

‘Three piece family bathroom has a contemporary suite which includes a bath with shower over, low level WC and wash basin and is fully tiled throughout.

‘Detached annex with lounge & fully fitted kitchen, three piece shower room and double bedroom.

‘Externally there is a driveway leading to a courtyard where there is parking for several vehicles and a detached garage which has power and lighting.

‘The owners have created a woodland activity area which is perfect for your young children. There is a large private garden area to the rear which is mainly laid to the lawn.’

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‘Time capsule’ country house which has been left untouched for decades on sale for £1.65million

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A ‘time capsule’ country house left untouched for decades has gone on the market for £1.65m with 25 acres of overgrown grounds included. 

Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is nearly a century old but has not been lived in for at least 20 years as the current owner, who lives abroad, bought it to use as a retirement home and never got round to it. 

Estate agents Webbers have cleared the terrace around the outdoor swimming pool to show buyers the potential it has.

The house also has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of surrounding Exmoor.

Burnells estate was first built in 1927 for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer. 

The overgrown Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is on sale for a cool £1.65m

The overgrown Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is on sale for a cool £1.65m

The house was first built in the 1927s for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer

The house was first built in the 1927s for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer

The house in its former glory is quite the sight
It hasn't been lived in for over 20 years

The house has been left to decay for 20 years and is now overgrown and in need of renovation

He served in the Second Boer War and the First World War before going into politics.

Thomson was Secretary of State for Air under Ramsey MacDonald, who made him Baron Thomson in 1924. 

He died in the R101 airship crash on its maiden flight from Britain to France in 1930.

The accident was partly down to Lord Thomson putting pressure on to make the maiden flight before safety checks were complete and adequate flight testing had been done.

It led to the deaths of 48 people and the cancellation of the British airship programme by Thomson’s successor.

The house has an incredible private setting in the countryside, down a country lane between the villages of Dunster and Wootton Courtenay in Somerset.

The house has over 4,000 sq ft of living space with a large entrance hall, kitchen, breakfast room, dining room and a large L-shaped sitting room on the ground floor and eight bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor.

It has plenty of original features including exposed ceiling beams, ornate plasterwork and original fireplaces. 

The kitchen has an oil-fired Aga and adjoining butler’s pantry with original full-height crockery and storage cupboards.

There is also a large garage with a studio above.

The kitchen is spacious, airy and comes equipped with an AGA for clean country living

The kitchen is spacious, airy and comes equipped with an AGA for clean country living 

The inside of the house could use some work but has enough period features to fall in love with

The inside of the house could use some work but has enough period features to fall in love with 

The entertainment room has a large authentic log fire - perfect for winter nights

The entertainment room has a large authentic log fire – perfect for winter nights 

Outside the property has a number of slate terraces that would have originally made up the formal gardens and there is a sunken swimming pool from the house’s heyday. 

The grounds include mixed woodland, heathland and paddocks.

Mark Curran, from Webbers, said: ‘The house has not been occupied for at least 20 years and is a time capsule from the era of art deco.

‘The woodland and foliage has grown up around the property and offers people the possibility of a virtual blank canvas for their own preference and ideas.

‘The interior of the house could be remodelled to suit more modern tastes or enlarged.’

The property, which is in a national park, has nearly 25 acres of grounds

The property, which is in a national park, has nearly 25 acres of grounds

The house has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of Exmoor National Park

The house has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of Exmoor National Park

The owner Robert Berg said: ‘I was over in the UK for business and staying in a hotel that I really disliked, so I asked my accountant to help me find a home for when I was here.

‘I purchased the property back in 1979 and lived there permanently until 1983. I’ve used it as my holiday home ever since, until personal circumstances changed for me in recent years.

‘Unfortunately, I have not been back as often as I would have liked, so I think the time is right for me to move on and let new owners breathe life back into it. It is in need of renovation but I know it will make a truly unique home.

‘This is not a normal house; it must have been a very expensive project when it was built and it was constructed in the most perfect manner set over five slate terraces.

‘There is a swimming pool on the second terrace that is a wonderful luxury. Surrounded by woodland and beautiful trees, it offers a most welcome escape from the stresses of day-to-day life.

‘Views from the house are far reaching over scenic countryside that changes with the passing seasons.

‘Access to the property is via a private road which is about 500m long and not many people know that it’s here unless they are coming to visit.

‘I have loved my time living here, it’s been a really wonderful house, and I wish the new owners all the very best.’

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