Banks Lending Again as Mortgage Approvals Up; MORTGAGES

The Birmingham Post (England), June 24, 2009 | Go to article overview

Banks Lending Again as Mortgage Approvals Up; MORTGAGES


Byline: NEVILLBOYDMAUNSELL

The big banks approved 31,162 mortgages for house purchase in May, up from a low of 17,953 in November last year and 15.8 per cent more than in May, 2008.

That stands against 29,018 house purchase mortgages approved in April and an average of 25,032 over the previous six months. These loans had an average value of pounds 133,600, 13.9 per cent less than last May, due to the fall in house prices over the 12 months.

The British Bankers' Association pointed out, though, that both the number and average value of house purchase approvals has risen steadily over the past six months, reflecting some improvement the ability of lenders to lend..

Despite that, the number of re-mortgages approved continues to dwindle - to 24,847 last month from a recent average of 28,234 and 60.2 per cent fewer than in May last year.

This falling trend in re-mortgages reduced the value of gross mortgage lending in loans actually completed in May to pounds 7.7 billion, less than in any month since February, 2001 and less than half the total in May last year.

Repayments reduced the month's net mortgage lending to pounds 2.3 billion, again the weakest monthly increase since early 20901.

"Steady monthly increases since last November have seen the number of loans approved for house purchase recover to levels seen in early 2008, although gross and net mortgage lending show a subdued wider mortgage picture," said David Dooks, the BBA's statistics director.

"However, unlike much of the mortgage market, the high street banks are still seeing lending growth and improved mortgage availability is reflected in higher average loan approval values. …

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