Mortgage lending down in September but purchase approvals up, says BBA

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Gross mortgage borrowing fell 2 per cent in the year to September 2015, while house purchase approvals dropped 15 per cent in the year, according to the British Bankers’ Association.

In September, gross borrowing was £12bn, down from the £12.4bn figure reported by the BBA for August.

However, the Association said its members approved 38,252 mortgages for house purchase in September, down 15 per cent on the same month last year but up from the 37,241 approvals in August, which had been the lowest level since January 2015.

BBA chief economist Rebecca Harding says: “Mortgage approvals picked up slightly this month but the housing market continues to shows signs of underlying weakness. Both house purchase and remortgaging approvals are down on the corresponding figures for 2015.”

SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “The drop in purchase activity year-on-year is no real surprise. Confidence is lower, there is still uncertainty about what the future holds and when people are uncertain they will defer decisions. Buying a house is a big transaction in anyone’s eyes and people are delaying that decision until they are happy that they are making the right one.”