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Number of mortgage approvals dips in September

Written by: Hannah Uttley
Loan approvals for house purchases fell back in September but still managed to outstrip the average recorded over the previous six months, data shows.

According to the Bank of England’s money and credit release, house purchase loan approvals totalled 68,874 in September, compared to the average of 66,900 over the previous six months and 70,664 in August. The total number of approvals dropped to 121,983 in September, compared with the 123,338 recorded in August.

However, more positive figures could be found in the remortgaging sector as approvals grew to 41,163, up from a six-month average of 37,194 and 40,922 in August. The number of approvals for other purposes was 11,947, rising from an average of 10,883 over the previous six months and 11,752 in August.

Growth in lending secured on dwellings also increased, rising by £3.6bn, in contrast to the average monthly increase of £2.6bn over the last six months and £3.4bn growth in August. Gross lending secured on dwellings totalled £18.6bn, falling from £18.9bn on the previous month.

British Bankers’ Association chief economist Richard Woolhouse said: “The drop in mortgage approvals suggests that the pace of growth in the housing market is softening.

“However, overall mortgage lending continues to increase rapidly. This is being driven by remortgaging as savvy customers secure attractive deals ahead of a possible rate rise,” he added.

“Consumer confidence also remains buoyant as demonstrated by the surge in credit growth.”

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