Approvals on UK mortgages in shock jump

HIGH street banks unexpectedly increased their number of mortgage approvals last month, the British Banking Association (BBA) said yesterday.

“Reports suggest that some activity may relate to growth in the buy-to-let market as rental yields improve,” the BBA said in its report.

Mortgage approvals came in at 76,042, up from 73,334 the previous month. The number of approvals for house purchases was up to 35,295 from 33,502 in September, 16 per cent higher than in October 2010.

Re-mortgage approvals also rose, yet were only three per cent higher than the same time last year.

Yet overall net mortgage lending was only slightly up, as people repaid their mortgage debts “at a high level”. Net mortgage lending came in at £900m, narrowly up on the six month average of £800m per month.