UK mortgage approvals rise

British mortgage approvals rose slightly more than expected in April but net mortgage lending growth lagged, according to Bank of England data yesterday, suggesting a durable housing market recovery is still some way off. The Bank of England said mortgage approvals edged up to 49,871 in April from 49,008 in March and the highest since December. That was above analysts’ forecasts for a reading of 49,250 but still some 15 per cent below their November peak. And net mortgage lending rose less than expected, up £490m in April from £168m in March and below forecasts for a rise of £700m.