Mortgage approvals up

The number of new mortgages approved, but not yet lent, for home buyers in August rose to its highest level since December 2009, according to figures from the Bank of England.

It said 52,410 mortgages were approved last month.

That was nearly three thousand more than in July, and the highest number since December 2009.

The figures indicated that a recent slight relaxation in lending criteria by banks and other lenders will lead to higher sales in the coming months.