BBA: Mortgage figures remain steady

Nia Williams

May 24, 2013

The number of loans approved for house purchase rose to 32,153 in April from 31,401 in March. Economists had expected approvals to rise to 32,800.

Net mortgage borrowing from the banks fell 0.1% in the year to April. The outstanding level of unsecured borrowing contracted 1.3% over the same period.

Adrian Anderson, director at Anderson Harris, said: “Mortgage approvals for purchases and remortgaging continued to edge upwards slightly in April as Funding for Lending continued to support the market.

“Mortgage rates continue to fall, offering cheaper options for borrowers. The BBA expects this to continue, with first-time buyers in particular benefiting under the scheme in coming months.

“Borrowers continue to overpay on their mortgages, taking advantage of record low interest rates, and pay down debt where they can.”

However Anderson warned that the UK housing market still remains some way from sustained recovery as caution continues to prevail.

Duncan Kreeger, director at West One Loans, added: “Some members of the BBA are trying to lend more. But sadly the results speak for themselves – particularly in mortgage lending.

“This month in 2007 saw the very same banks lending more than twice what they’ve managed in April 2013.

“Mortgage lending has suffered a 60% drop since this pre-crisis peak and even the most optimistic predictions don’t expect mainstream banks to take up that slack for perhaps a decade, if ever.”

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