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Bank mortgage lending and approvals fall in March

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  • 28/04/2017
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Bank mortgage lending and approvals fall in March
Banks advanced £13.2bn of mortgage lending in March, the lowest amount this year, while approvals declined for the third consecutive month.

The British Bankers’ Association reported that gross mortgage lending had fallen from £13.3bn in February and £13.9bn in January. Year-on-year comparisons reflect the spike in lending driven by the additional 3% Stamp Duty levy for buy to let and second homes. In March 2016, banks advanced £17.1bn of lending.

Mortgage approvals also fell. House purchase approval numbers of 41,061 were reported, which reflects a slight dip on February’s business levels of 42,247 and January’s approvals of 44,240.

Remortgaging approvals were at their lowest level since November 2016, with 24,657 refinancing deals given the green light. This compared to 25,310 in February and 27,966 in January.

Consumer credit annual growth was 6.1% in March, compared with 6.5% in February. The decline reflected slower growth in personal loans and overdrafts (6.8%) and credit card borrowing (5.2%) over the same period.

Eric Leenders, BBA managing director for retail banking, said: “In March, annual growth in consumer borrowing from the main high street banks slowed, perhaps mirroring the dip seen in retail sales volumes as price rises appear to have started biting into consumers’ spending.”

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