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Banks suffer dip in February mortgage activity – BBA

  • 24/03/2017
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Banks suffer dip in February mortgage activity – BBA
The UK’s banks suffered a lull in mortgage activity in February as gross lending and approvals declined compared to the previous month, the British Bankers’ Association has reported.

Gross mortgage lending in February was £13.4bn, 4% lower than the amount lent in January, but 5% higher than the previous year.

House purchase approvals dropped by 3.5% month-on-month, when banks gave the green light to 42,613 applications. This represented a 4.6% yearly decline.

Remortgage approvals by banks fell by 10% on January’s figures with 25,414 refinancing homeloans approved. This compared to 28,088 remortgages approved in the previous month and 25,484 in February 2016.

Eric Leenders, BBA managing director for retail banking, said: “Elevated approval volumes for house purchases and remortgaging experienced during the winter months fell back in February, to average levels seen throughout most of last year.”

North London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf, said February’s low remortgage figures could be viewed as a positive forward indicator for the housing market because people would rather look for their next property than stay put and release equity from their current home.

In consumer lending, credit card advances outperformed other types of finance with a monthly and yearly increase in the value of lending.

In February, providers lent £9.8bn in credit card finance, up 1% on January and 3% on the same period last year.

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