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Mortgage advances hit highest level since lending crackdown

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Mortgage lending rose in July to its highest level since the introduction of new affordability rules in 2014, Bank of England statistics reveal.

According to official figures, mortgage advances totalled £18.5bn, the highest amount since April 2014 when the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) came into effect and when lending totalled £18.3bn up from £16.9bn the previous month.

Mortgage approvals also increased, shooting up in the last four months to 117,661 in July, the largest amount seen since January 2014 when approvals amounted to 125,127.

Data from the Bank of England also showed that the number of approvals on remortgaging deals crept up in July to 38,042, in line with a steady increase recorded over the past year.

Jody Baker, head of money at said: “Consumers’ desire to secure a mortgage ahead of an interest rate rise has helped intensify mortgage lending. Our site saw a 23% spike in re-mortgage queries in July, as people rush to secure the best deals they can before a possible rate rise. In addition, first time buyer and buy to let mortgage enquiries on the site also rose in July, growing 18% and 13% month on month. As activity in the mortgage market continues to grow, this may play into the hands of consumers, as increased competition amongst lenders could mean that some of the best mortgage deals, which have recently been withdrawn, could return.”

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