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Mortgage approvals up despite Brexit uncertainty

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Banks and building societies lent £25.5bn worth of mortgages last month, 5.6% up on a year ago, despite continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The figures from trade body UK Finance shows the number of mortgages approved for house purchases by the main high street banks was 3.6% higher in October compared to a year ago.

Remortgage approvals fell by 13.5% to 33,505 from 38,746 recorded in October 2017,

Eric Leenders, managing director, personal finance at UK Finance, said: “Overall mortgage lending grew in October, despite an uncertain economic environment, while house purchase mortgage approvals by the main high street banks were also up on the previous year.

“However remortgaging activity has softened, following a period of strong growth driven by fixed rate loans reaching maturity and anticipation of August’s base rate rise.”

Suchit Sethi, founder of, said: “There was a concern that last month’s subdued mortgage lending figures were signalling the start of a terminal decline in the face of pervasive Brexit uncertainty, but today’s healthy stats have thankfully rebuffed that notion.

“Overall mortgage lending and purchase approvals were both up in October indicating that consumers are spurning the despondent narrative and maintaining a high level of activity.

“There’s been a drop-off in remortgaging activity, but this was always going to be inevitable after a bumper summer of deals were completed before the rate rise.”

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