Mortgage lending rises as buyers borrow more despite election worries

Tim Wallace
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A total of 73,650 of mortgage loans were given out in the month
Mortgage lending kept growing in April despite the uncertainty of the election hanging over the housing market, according to figures yesterday from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).

A total of 73,650 of mortgage loans were given out in the month, up from 72,074 in March. April’s loans were worth a total of £11.7bn, up from £11.5bn in March and up from £10.7bn in April of 2014.

The number of loans is the highest since the mortgage market review rules came into force, which tightened the affordability criteria used by banks when deciding whether or not to offer the credit to a customer.

The monthly rise was entirely made of house purchase loans, up from £7.3bn to £7.6bn, while remortgage levels slid slightly to £3.6bn.

Industry analysts believe the numbers point to strong growth in the market.

“The BBA’s data suggests that the impact of the build-up to the general election on market activity was greatly overstated,” said Brian Murphy from brokerage the Mortgage Advice Bureau. “The combination of record mortgage product numbers and extremely favourable pricing has proved more than enough to sustain demand regardless of political uncertainty. The stability of a majority government should also provide a solid base for the market to progress.”

Personal deposits shot up by £5.1bn on the month, the strongest growth since October 2014. Individual savings accounts (ISAs) played a major role in that, accounting for £4.4bn of the increase in savings.

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