Mortgage Approvals Likely to keep rising

The housing market looks set for a robust start to the new year after figures yesterday showed a sharp jump in the number of mortgages approved by the main lending banks last month.

The British Bankers' Association said 77,788 people reserved a loan to buy a home in November, up almost 4 per cent on October and more than 9 per cent ahead of last year.

Mortgage approvals tend to point to the movement in house prices several weeks ahead when the money is used to complete the house purchase.

"The strength of mortgage approvals indicates that August's interest rate rise had little immediate cooling effects on the housing market," said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at Global Insight.

The BBA also revised up its initial estimate of underlying new mortgage lending to £6.7bn from what was already a record high of £6.5bn.

David Dooks, head of statistics at the BBA, said: "The high number of loans approved in November, which is not usually a strong month, suggests that the trend in mortgage lending will continue to be robust over the next few months."

The figures support other data depicting a resilient housing market after two interest rate rises this year and with economists expecting higher borrowing costs next year.

- from :Independet

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