Belfast Telegraph

Mortgage approvals rise signals renewed confidence

By Vicky Shaw

The number of mortgages being approved to home buyers climbed by 3% month-on-month in June, Bank of England figures show.

Some 66,582 mortgages with a total value of £11.5bn were approved for house purchase in June, which is higher than the longer term average of 62,971 monthly approvals.

Meanwhile, 36,620 re-mortgage loans worth £6bn were also approved in June, which is likewise above the longer term average of 33,759 loans being handed out.

The Bank's figures also show credit card lending increased by £245m in June, up from a £240m increase recorded in May.

Personal loan and overdraft lending increased by £976m, marking the strongest upswing seen since March.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "High consumer confidence means that people have become more prepared to borrow in recent months, while low interest rates have also been helping consumers.

"However, there is the concern that consumers are becoming increasingly tempted to take on debt again to fund spending."

The Bank's figures also showed that lending to non-financial companies plunged by £5.5bn in June, marking the sharpest fall since the series started in May 2011. This followed an increase of £818m in May.

Mr Archer said: "It is vitally important for the UK's ability to generate sustained balanced growth and to lift productivity that all companies who are in decent shape and want to borrow - whether it be to invest to add or upgrade capacity, improve production processes, explore new markets or generally support their operations - can do so."

Last week, the British Bankers' Association (BBA) said it has seen an increase in the number of people re-mortgaging.

Belfast Telegraph