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Banks’ house purchase loans down 13% in February

The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase by high street banks fell by 13% between January and February, figures from the British Bankers’ Association show.

There were 33,103 house purchase approvals in February, down from 37,977 in January and 6% lower than the previous six-month average of 35,399.

By value there was £5bn worth of house purchase approvals in February, down from £5.8bn in January.

The banks’ gross mortgage lending totalled £7.9bn in February, 2% lower than January’s £8.1bn and down from a previous six-month average of £8.4bn.

In total there were 65,737 mortgage approvals in February worth £7.9bn. This is down 11% by number and 13% compared to January.

Net mortgage lending was £0.5bn in February, down from £0.7bn for both January and the previous six-month average.

The BBA says house purchase approvals fell back to more normal trend levels in February, as demand from first-time buyers looking to beat the Stamp Duty holiday and buy-to-let investors fell away.

The number of remortgage approvals were at their lowest level for 13 years at 18,147 in February, which is down 12% on the previous month and down 21% on the previous six-month average.

David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA, says: “Businesses and households continue to be cautious about their finances in the face of difficult economic times and this shows up in an reluctance to take on new credit, or where possible, seeking to pay back bank borrowing.

“Confidence will be helped in the coming months by official schemes to support the mortgage market and stimulate business demand for credit.”

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  • Bobby 23rd March 2012 at 10:18 am

    Re mortgages at their lowest level for 13 years at under 19000. I hate to be right and say I told you so as predicted. They will fall further, could be under 10000 by the summer.

  • Bobby 23rd March 2012 at 10:18 am

    Re mortgages at their lowest level for 13 years at under 19000. I hate to be right and say I told you so as predicted. They will fall further, could be under 10000 by the summer.