View more on these topics

Mortgage approvals remain flat in January

The level of mortgage approvals for house purchase in January has remained static at 31,000, figures from the Bank of England reveal.

The latest Lending to Individuals statistics from the BoE also show that remortgage activity declined from 36,000 in December to 34,000 in January.

Total net lending to individuals rose by £1.1bn in January, compared to an increase of £2.1bn in December and a six-month average of £2bn.

Net consumer lending was up on the previous month, going from £0.3bn to £0.4bn.

Net credit card lending increased by £0.3bn and net other loans and advances rose by £0.1bn.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says the BoE’s flat mortgage approvals data in the face of increasing buyer demand shows how desperately fresh mortgage funding is needed.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, says: “The disconnect between buyer enquiries and actual mortgages approved highlights the inability of many buyers to access the property market.”

“Subsequent announcements by both Northern Rock and Royal Bank of Scotland indicate that a little more funding will flow into the mortgage market over the coming months but as things stand, this will only boost the available finance by in the region of 10% compared with 2008.”

RICS has reiterated its call to the government to quickly implement Sir James Crosby’s plans to offer guarantees for mortgage-backed securities.

Recommended

Orbiter offers help to Encore users

Orbiter has invited the Encore adviser users currently being transferred to Mortgage Brain to switching to their free sourcing engine.

Shares in Lloyds Banking Group fall 15%

Shares in Lloyds Banking Group are taking a hit this morning as talks continue over the value of assets to be placed in the Treasury’s Asset Protection Scheme.

Europe: banking on a recovery

Neptune video: Europe — banking on a recovery

Arguing that the eurozone crisis is over, watch Rob Burnett, head of European equities at Neptune, discuss the sectors that he’s investing in to harness the recovery. 

In the video, Burnett addresses the following: 

• The primary drivers of the eurozone’s economic recovery
• The turnaround in individual countries’ current accounts
• Sectors best positioned to harness the recovery, without offering undue exposure to risk