The number of mortgages approved by high street banks increased slightly in June after four months of decline, figures showed on Wednesday, although experts said it was too early to say new rules on lending have had a long-term impact on the housing market.
Data from the British Bankers Association (BBA) showed 68,121 loans were approved during the month, a 4% increase on May’s figure. Of these, 43,265 mortgages were for house purchases, up from 41,881 in May and a 14% increase on June 2013.
Homebuyers borrowed an average of £163,800 each, and a total of £10bn.
The increase follows several months of falls around the launch of the mortgage market review (MMR) in April which introduced strict affordability tests on borrowers. However, the figure remained below the previous six-month average of 45,057.
The BBA said it was still too early to say how much the falls were a result of delays while new processes were introduced and how much they reflected stricter lending criteria.
Its chief economist, Richard Woolhouse, said: “These figures show that mortgage approvals are rising again after four months of decline. That’s encouraging because those decisions are a leading indicator of what’s happening in the housing market.
“But the jury is still out on exactly how the new rules are affecting customer applications or approvals.”
via The Guardian 
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