Mortgage lending highest since July 2009

Gross mortgage lending in Britain last month rose to its highest level in more than two years, rebounding from July's weak reading to stand 10 percent higher than a year ago, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said.

Gross mortgage lending in August came in at an estimated £13.4bn, up from £12.6bn in July and £12.1bn in August 2010, the CML said.

"Activity levels ... continue to be subdued but broadly stable," said CML chief economist Bob Pannell. "The August performance more or less offset the weaker-than-expected July figure. Taking July and August together, lending has shown little change on the same months of 2009 and 2010."

Separate Bank of England data has shown mortgage approvals running at around half the level of before the financial crisis for the past couple of years.