British lending to consumers expanded at the fastest annual rate in almost a decade in November and banks approved more mortgages than forecast, showing a buoyant mood among households towards the end of 2015.
The Bank of England said net lending to consumers in November was up 8.3 percent compared with a year earlier, the biggest such increase since February 2006 and a growth rate that may raise concern at the Bank about lending standards.
In cash terms, lending was up 1.476 billion pounds compared with the previous month, beating economists’ forecasts in a Reuters poll and showing a similar picture to industry figures released before Christmas.
Lenders also granted more home loans than expected, with 70,410 mortgages for house purchase approved, the highest number in three months.
The figures add to signs that Britain’s housing market is accelerating after a dip in mid-2014 when tighter rules on mortgage lending took effect, requiring banks and building societies to make more rigorous checks on whether borrowers can afford their loans.