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Mortgage approvals see modest increase in April  

There were 51,823 mortgage approvals for house purchase in April, up slightly from the 51,067 in March, the latest figures from the Bank of England show.

There were also 31,214 remortgage approvals in the month, also up from 29,713 in March.

Gross mortgage lending was £11.5bn in the month, compared to the previous six-month average of £12.4bn, while repayments in April were £11.3bn, compared to the previous six-month average of £11.5bn.

Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Capital Economics, says on balance, April’s lending figures paint a fairly weak picture.

He says: “Granted, the number of mortgages approved for new house purchase rose from 51,100 to 51,800, despite the fact that the Stamp Duty holiday for first-time buyers ended at the end of March.

“Nonetheless, the level of approvals is still some 3% below its level at the end of last year, and surveys suggest that new buyer interest is increasing at a fairly sluggish pace.”


Stuck with unpalatable options

With the housing market in the doldrums and interest-only borrowers unable to refinance or switch to a repayment deal, lenders are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place


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