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Wednesday 25th of March 2009
March 24, 2009

Banks approve more house purchases mortgages


by Gill Montia
Banks approve more house purchases mortgages

Figures from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) show a rise in the number of mortgages approved for house purchase in February, signalling the third consecutive monthly increase.

Last month 28,179 loans for house purchases were sanctioned, up from 24,278 in January and significantly ahead of November’s record low rate of 17,878.

However, February’s figure is still 31% down year-on-year and the BBA points out that High Street banks have increased their market share, so February’s rise should not be interpreted as heralding a recovery in the UK property market.

New home loans and remortgages totalled £9.2 billion last month, the figure having fallen slightly on January to a level last seen in June 2001.

Remortgaging volumes declined to 28,746 or 59% below volumes for February 2008.

The fall reflects a trend for homeowners to stay on lenders’ relatively attractive standard variable rates when fixed deals come to an end.

However, recent research from Legal & General indicates that more homeowners are now opting for fixed-rate deals, most probably in the belief that the Bank of England’s base rate has bottomed out at 0.5%.

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