The British Bankers Association has revealed that gross new mortgage lending totalled £16.1bn in April.
This was the strongest total since last November and reflects the high approval volumes seen in March. After seasonal adjustment there was a record rise in net lending of £6.4bn.
By contrast, approvals in April were some 15% weaker than in March, partly reflecting the lower number of business days in the month. There were 227,700 loans approved with a total value of £17.6bn.
The proportion of loans approved for house purchase, at 38%, was the highest since July 2002, though this also reflected some reduction in the appetite for remortgaging, which at 31%, was the lowest share of approvals since August 2003. The average approval for house purchase rose again, to £112,400.
David Dooks, director of statistics at the BBA, says: “After the high number of approvals in previous months and particularly in March, April's stronger gross mortgage lending was no surprise.
“There was a continued reduction in the proportion of approvals for remortgaging and loans for house purchase and equity withdrawal were also lower than in March. However, these data are strongly related to the number of business days in a month so it is difficult to gauge yet whether net lending, after allowing for seasonal factors, will moderate in the coming months.
“April's overall net consumer credit was weaker than in March. Subdued growth in personal loans and overdrafts contrasted with strong net credit card lending, resulting from a reduced level of repayments. However, repayment levels fluctuate, particularly around Bank holidays, so April's data are not necessarily significant.”
April's gross lending of £16,135m was 17.5% higher than March's total and compared with £13,708m in April 2003.