Mortgage approvals edge up

MORTGAGE approvals unexpectedly increased to their largest number in four months in November, the Bank of England revealed yesterday.

The Bank also released data on the money supply, with its favoured measure increasing by 0.2 per cent on the previous month, and 3.5 per cent year-on-year in the three months to November.

And after a fall in October, the number of loans for house purchases rose to 48,019 for the month.

The number of loans for remortgaging shot up to 34,262, from 30,429 the previous month.

The figures mirrored last month’s survey from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) which showed far greater annual growth in mortgage lending in November (3.2 per cent) than in October (0.8 per cent).

However, the slim rise is “nothing to write home about,” according to Hetal Mehta of Daiwa Capital.

And consumer credit fell by £0.1bn in November, the Bank reported.

Yet confidence in the economy improved in November, according to an IPSOS Mori survey that showed UK confidence rose by three per cent.

“This is also an endorsement of the deficit reduction plan,” said Ashish Prashar of Ipsos MORI. “The public seem to be saying that dealing with this deficit is not an alternative to growth -- the two go hand in hand.”