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Financial News: UK Mortgage Approvals Highest Since Mid-2017

UK Mortgage Approvals Highest Since Mid-2017

01/31/2020 - 06:12:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK mortgage approvals rose to the highest level in two-and-a-half years in December, data from the Bank of England showed Friday.

The number of mortgages approved in December rose to 67,241 from 65,514 in November. This was also above the forecast of 65,600.

In value terms, net mortgage borrowing by households totaled GBP 4.6 billion versus GBP 4.2 billion average seen over the last six months. The annual growth rate remained at 3.4 percent.

Boris Johnson's election win has done nothing to improve the housing market fundamentals, Gabriella Dickens, an economist at Capital Economics, said. With house prices very high and interest rates at their floor, the prospects for further growth in lending are limited.

Data showed that consumer credit increased to GBP 1.2 billion from GBP 0.7 billion in November. This was in line with the GBP 1.1 billion average seen since July 2018.

Annual growth of consumer credit rose to 6.1 percent in December from 5.9 percent in November. At the same time, credit card spending increased the most since February 2019, up GBP 412 million in December.

The broad money supply M4 grew 0.1 percent on month, taking the annual growth to 3.8 percent in December.

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