Gross mortgage lending slows
According to the BBA, February’s lending was less than the average of the previous six months and some 5.2% lower than in February last year. Net mortgage lending grew by £2.8 billion in February compared with £2.6 billion in January, but was below the previous six month average.
Annual growth of 4.7% in net mortgage lending substantially exceeded growth of just 1.0% (January) across the whole market.
House purchase approvals were some 16% higher than in February last year but still well below the figure in December as the aftermath of the year-end change to stamp duty was still working through. The average value of house purchase approvals (£140,800) was 11.5% higher than a year ago. Volumes of remortgaging and equity withdrawal approvals continued to be lower than a year earlier.
Commenting, BBA statistics director, David Dooks said: “High street banks continue to provide the majority of all new lending for mortgages, though the volume of approvals remains subdued after the year-end stamp-duty change.
“Consumers are focusing on building up their deposits, while any increase in borrowing appetite is unlikely without greater household confidence and economic certainty.”