UK MORTGAGE APPROVALS AT 20-MONTH LOW IN AUGUST

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LONDON (Alliance News) – The UK mortgage approvals declined to their lowest level in 20 months in August, the British Bankers’ Association said Monday.

The number of mortgages approved for house purchases fell to 36,997 in August from 37,672 in July. This was the lowest since January 2015, when mortgages totalled 36,615.

Nonetheless, approvals stood above the expected level of 36,750.

Gross mortgage borrowing of GBP12.4 billion in August was 1% higher than in August 2015.

Consumer credit continued to show annual growth of over 6% reflecting fairly strong retail sales and in the case of personal loans and overdrafts favorable interest rates, BBA said.

Borrowing by non-financial companies decreased by GBP0.1 billion in August after a fairly strong rise in July.

Rebecca Harding, chief economist at the BBA, said: “The high-street banking statistics published today point to a softer housing market, strong consumer credit and slightly weaker business borrowing in August.”

“The data was collected before the Bank of England reduced interest rates to 0.25% and so give an indication of some of the underlying pressures that the MPC was responding to when it made this decision,” Harding added.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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