BoE: Mortgage approvals pick up in January

| March 1, 2011
BoE: Mortgage approvals pick up in January

The Bank of England has today revealed mortgage approvals rose in January.

According to the Bank, there were 45,723 loans approved in the month, up from December’s 42,719 – a month when the country was hit by the coldest weather in more than a century.

The level of approvals easily beat analysts forecasts of a reading of 43,000.

However, despite the improvement, the housing market is still expected to remain subdued throughout 2011 as demand for housing is expected to stay weak as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the economy and the Government’s massive spending cuts.

Last week, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) revealed a further fall in the number of new mortgages approved by the major banks in January.

According to the BBA, the number of new mortgages approved in the month fell to 28,932 – marginally better than December‘s levels but 29% down on January 2010 levels.

Meanwhile, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) also reported mortgage lending remained weak in January.

Mortgage lending fell by 13% in January compared with December – the lowest level for a year, according to the CML.

However, in other news today, the Nationwide Building Society revealed a 0.3% rise in house prices for the month of February compared with January.

The latest rise, which was unexpected, means house prices are now 0.1% lower than this time last year with the average UK home costing £161,183.

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