UK mortgage approvals slip in April as consumer spending gets spring boost, according to the British Bankers' Association

Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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​Consumer lending grew by 6.4 per cent, slightly up from 6.2 per cent in March (Source: Getty)

Mortgage approvals in April were slightly down on the monthly average of 41,959 over the previous six months, latest figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) out today showed.

Remortgaging approval numbers stood at 23,074, 10 per cent lower than in April 2016 and down on the monthly average of 26,569 over the previous six months.

​Consumer lending grew by 6.4 per cent, slightly up from 6.2 per cent in March which had been the weakest increase in nearly a year.

Read more: Loans to home buyers jump 27 per cent in March but down since last year

The BBA, which collates data from most high street banks but not building societies, said the rise in retail sales over the Easter period reflects the rise in consumer borrowing in April.

"As the spring sunshine picked up in April, so did consumer spending," Eric Leenders, the BBA's managing director for retail banking, said.

"Annual growth in consumer borrowing from the main high street banks grew due to increased customer use of credit cards. This was also reflected by an uplift in retail sales volumes, particularly among food retailers over the Easter period."

Data from the Mortgage Advice Bureau released this week pointed out that the UK housing market remained steady in April despite the news of a snap election in June and "ongoing uncertainty around Brexit", according to data from the Mortgage Advice Bureau.

During the month the average selling prices increased by two per cent while the typical purchase loan size was up by the same amount.

There was a minimal change in average size of remortgage month-on-month (0.6 per cent increase) while the average purchase price for first-time buyers remained broadly unchanged on the previous month (1.23 per cent increase).

The bureau said that the months and weeks that precede such an event are "typically quieter, with activity picking up afterwards".

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