Approvals hit three-month high in September: BoE

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The number of mortgage approvals hit a three-month high in September, according to new figures from the Bank of England.

September saw a total of 62,932 approvals, worth £11.1bn, up from 60,984 in August.

The six-month average for approvals is 64,841.

The number of approvals for remortgages in September rose to 42,440, compared to the half-year average of 41,882.

Yorkshire Building Society chief economist Andrew McPhillips says: “The fact that lending has increased compared to the same month last year despite mortgage approvals falling is most likely a result of increasing house prices, which have caused people to take out larger loans to afford a property.

“Remortgaging is also accounting for an increasing proportion of market activity as people are looking to make the most of the record-low rates currently available, while house purchase activity is showing a decline as a result of both the lack of supply and increasing house prices which are limiting the number of people who are able to get onto the property ladder.”

Estate agent and former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf says: “The figures show a welcome bounce back in lending from the very disappointing figures the previous month.

“While bearing in mind that these numbers are a little historic, they reiterate what we are seeing on the ground that following an initial pause buyers are getting back to business, albeit a bit more cautiously.

“Looking forward, we expect similar numbers going into the autumn as the market slowly recovers from the initial shock of the referendum outcome.”

The Bank says consumer credit figures also rose in September.

Credit card lending increased by £500m in the month, taking the annual growth rate to 8.4 per cent.

Advances to households and other loans rose £900m.