Housing data shows lending and price rises - London Report

HOUSING data due this week is likely to show increases in both prices and the number of mortgages being taken out.

Bank of England mortgage approval figures, out today, are forecast to show that the number of housing loans rose modestly for a second month running in January after falling for five successive months to be at a 17-month low in November.

Howard Archer, of IHS Global Insight, said: “We forecast mortgage approvals to have risen to 61,000 in January after climbing to 60,275 in December from 58,956 in November. Mortgage approvals had previously fallen back to November’s low of 58,956 from 66,166 in June and a 74-month high of 75,557 in January 2014.”

Mortgage approvals fell back last year after the introduction in April of Mortgage Market Review (MMR) regulations, which demanded more extensive checks on borrowers, as well as a general moderation in the housing market, which reined in prices.

The Nationwide report, also due out today, is expected to show prices rose by just 0.4 per cent month-on-month in February after increases of 0.3 per cent in January and 0.2 per cent in December. This would drop the annual rate of increase to 6.4 per cent. The Halifax report, also due out this week, is expected to report that house prices fell back 0.3 per cent month-on-month in February.

Other economic news out this week includes purchasing manager indexes (PMIs) for manufacturing, services and construction, with growth expected in all three categories.

The corporate calendar starts with reports today from Amlin, Dialight, Hiscox, Intertek, Senior, Thorntons, Trinity Mirror and WH Ireland.

Tomorrow Ashtead, Barclays, Costain, Direct Line, Glencore, Laird, Moneysupermarket, Pace, Paddy Power, Partnership Assurance, Regus, Stagecoach, Taylor Wimpey, Travis Perkins and Tullet Prebon will all report.

On Wednesday Carillion, Dignity, Greggs, ITV, Legal & General, Lookers and Standard Chartered will update the market.

Thursday’s figures are due from Admiral, Aggreko, Arrow Global, Aviva, Betfair, Cobham, EasyJet, Friends Life, Hunting, Inmarsat, London Stock Exchange Group and Schroders.

On Friday AGA Rangemaster and Marshall will report.