MBBG reveals July gross mortgage lending up 19%

Further lending figures from Major British Banking Groups just released show Julys gross mortgage lending was 19.1bn, some 7% below the record figure of 20.5bn in June, though 19% higher than the 16.0bn in July last year.

Underlying net mortgage lending rose by 5.7bn, compared with 5.6bn in June, an average of 5.3bn over recent months and 4.0bn in July 2005.

There were 178,438 mortgage approvals (for all purposes) in July, with an aggregate value of 18.4bn.

This number of approvals was 2% lower than in July 2005, though their value was 8% higher.

The average loan approved for house purchase was 139,200, some 5% higher than a year earlier.

Net lending on loans and overdrafts rose by 0.7bn in July, compared with an increase of 0.2bn in June and an average rise over the previous six months of plus 0.4bn.

In contrast, underlying net lending on credit cards fell by 0.3bn, repeating Junes fall and compares with an average monthly contraction of 0.1bn over the first half of the year.

David Dooks, director of statistics at British Bankers Association, says: July is typically a slow summer month for mortgage approvals, so the lower numbers and value of loans approved compared to June were anticipated.

Allowing for this seasonality suggests that loans approved for house purchase and remortgaging remain on a constant trend, whilst demand for equity withdrawal has continued to weaken since the turn of the year.

The drawdown of loans approved in previous months shows strong mortgage lending to have been approaching the peaks of 2004, ahead of the interest rate rise in early August.

Meanwhile, unsecured lending is displaying quite a different trend, with the growth rate continuing to decline, largely reflecting the on?going contraction in credit card borrowing.

The July increase of 5,727mn in seasonally adjusted net lending leaves the annualised rate of growth unchanged at 13%.

Compared to the same month a year earlier, Julys loan approvals for house purchase were 5% higher by number and 10% higher by value.

Remortgaging approvals were 2% lower by number though 7% higher by value; and approvals for equity withdrawal were 10% lower by number and 5% lower by value.

New borrowing on credit cards totalled 7,083mn in July, the lowest July figure since 2002.

With repayments exceeding spending and after seasonal adjustment, net lending contracted by 348mn, continuing the recent subdued picture of demand.

New lending on personal loans and overdrafts in July was higher than in June and after seasonal adjustment, net lending of 655mn compared with a recent monthly average of +404mn but followed a below average figure of plus 214mn in June.

The annualised rate of total consumer credit growth has halved from this time last year and stands at a little over 4% p.a.