Mortgages in slim rise

THE number of mortgages for house buyers increased to 56,000 in July – a rise of seven per cent on the previous month, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

This was also up six per cent up on the same month a year ago.

But the group said that despite the seasonal rise, the market remained "very weak" with loan criteria becoming stricter.

CML economist Paul Samter said: "Lending criteria remain tight, underpinned by caution on the part of both borrowers and lenders in the light of continuing economic uncertainty."