October's mortgage approvals lowest since Feb

City A.M. Reporter
THE number of mortgage approvals in Britain fell to its lowest in eight months in October, but mortgage lending rose twice as fast as expected, according to official data released today.

The Bank of England said mortgage approvals numbered 47,185 in October, down from 47,369 in September.

This is the lowest level since February 2010, but broadly in line with analysts' forecasts for a reading of 47,000.

Net mortgage lending, however, rose twice as fast as expected, by £963m last month, the biggest rise since August.

Still, the figures are likely to reinforce the view that Britain's housing market remains fragile, as mortgage approvals are running at around half their long-run average rate of 90,000 since April 1993.

Net consumer credit rose by £287m in October, in line with forecasts.

Broad M4 money supply growth was 0.7 per cent in October, but the annual rate fell sharply to -0.7 per cent – the lowest since the series began in 1983.

Separate figures showed the BoE's preferred money supply gauge – M4 excluding intermediate other financial corporations – rose 2.9 per cent on an annualised basis in the three months to October, compared with growth of 2.5 per cent in the previous three month period.