Mortgage approvals rise in July

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The UK’s leading banking and financial services trade association, the Brtish Bankers Association (BBA), is reporting an increase in mortgage approvals and new lending during July.

The BBA figures show that approvals in July stood at 38,181, representing a rise of 7.4% compared with June and 77% higher than a year ago.

The increase takes the number of mortgages approved for house purchases through the major High Street banks to a 17-month high. However, taking the offsetting of repayments into account, net mortgage lending figures were at their lowest since October 2000.

Commenting on the BBA mortgage approval figures, Brigid O’Leary, RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) senior economist said:

“While it is encouraging that these numbers have continued to improve, they do not disguise the fact that the housing market is still in a fragile state and that mortgage activity is still limited.”

“The BBA figures suggest that the number of mortgage approvals in July was still almost 40% below the long-run average since 1997” she continued.

With the Bank of England due to publish secured lending figures next week, it is likely that a more complete picture will emerge.