Mortgage approvals rose unexpectedly in November to their highest level since July, but unsecured consumer lending suffered its biggest monthly fall since August, Bank of England figures showed.
The mortgage approvals figures chime with an unexpected rise in the Nationwide house price index in December, though activity is still much lower than 12 months earlier and many economists predict continued property market weakness in 2011.
Mortgage approvals for house purchase rose to 48,019 in November from 47,315 in October, in contrast to economists' expectations for a slight fall to 47,000.
Net consumer credit fell by £121m, its biggest drop since August, after a £298m rise in October.
Analysts had forecast a 0.2bn rise in consumer credit lending.
City A.M. Reporter