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Mortgage approvals return to highest rate since MMR

  • 28/05/2015
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Mortgage approvals return to highest rate since MMR
Bank loan approvals hit a 13-month high in April, with monthly approvals 3% higher than the same time last year, British Bankers’ Association (BBA) figures show.

The number of mortgage approvals totalled 70,310 in April, compared with 68,422 the same time last year, an increase of 2.7%. Remortgage activity also increased, with the number of loans rising from 20,063 to 21,189.

Approvals for house purchase alone reached 42,116 in April, climbing from 39,203 on the previous month and 40,850 in April 2014.

However, gross mortgage borrowing failed to surpass the levels achieved in the same month last year, falling by 13% to £10.5bn, but still saw a monthly increase of 2% on March.

The average value of a loan for house purchase now stands at £168,100, the highest since BBA records began in 1997.

In addition, overall mortgage stock is now 1% higher than a year ago, the BBA said.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said that suggestions that the market would be held back in the build up to the general election were “greatly overstated”.

“Today’s data shows we are witnessing a resurgence in mortgage lending by the major banks with approvals hitting a 13-month high in April. After a slow start to 2015, loan approvals are now at their highest since the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) took effect and have risen for three successive months. It is a sure sign for borrowers that there is life left on the high street despite growing competition from smaller building societies and specialist lenders.”

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