The BoE said lenders signed off on 70,888 mortgages in January, up from 67,930 in December, confirming a pick-up in consumer demand at the start of 2020
British lenders approved the highest number of mortgages for house purchase in nearly four years in January, Bank of England figures showed on Monday, confirming a pick-up in consumer demand at the start of 2020.
The BoE said lenders signed off on 70,888 mortgages in January, up from 67,930 in December and the greatest number since February 2016, before the impending referendum on Brexit took steam out of the housing market in most of the country.
The BoE data showed the annual growth rate in unsecured consumer lending held steady at 6.1% in January.
Consumer confidence has rebounded to an 18-month high and businesses are also more optimistic since December’s election returned Prime Minister Boris Johnson to office with a large majority.
But in the past week financial market sentiment has dived with share prices falling by the most since 2008, on fears that China’s coronavirus will spread worldwide, leading to widespread economic disruption.
BoE Governor Mark Carney said on Friday that Britain would be unable to avoid an economic hit, though a day earlier Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe said there was a limit to what the central bank could do to limit the impact.
Last week mortgage lender Nationwide reported that house prices in February were 2.3% higher than a year earlier, their biggest annual rise in 18 months, after Brexit worries had weighed on demand for much of 2019.
The BoE said net mortgage lending rose by 4.007 billion pounds in January, versus a forecast increase of 4.7 billion pounds while consumer lending increased by 1.230 billion pounds compared with a forecast rise of 1.1 billion pounds on the month.
This article is for information purposes only.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
There is no obligation to purchase anything but, if you decide to do so, you are strongly advised to consult a professional adviser before making any investment decisions.