Friday, 25 April 2014

High Street Bankers Had a Busy March

Word today from the BBA that mortgage approvals in March were up 43% from last year. Gross mortgage borrowing of £11b was up 38% in the same comparison.

To no one's surprise, the main high street banking groups account for some 2/3 of all UK mortgage lending outstanding, based on the Bank of England’s ‘lending to individuals’ data. They include the six largest UK retail lending groups: Barclays, HSBC Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Santander UK and Virgin Money. 

The BBA says higher capital repayment (in part reflecting homeowners switching lenders) contributed, to monthly contractions in net borrowing through much of 2013, but since the turn of the year, the overall mortgage stock has started to rise as greater demand feeds through.

Mortgage assistance schemes are helping first-time buyers and housing chains generally, as housing market activity rises. Compared to the same time a year earlier, approvals in March 2014 were: House purchases + 43%; Remortgaging +14%; Other -9%.

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