Mortgage Approvals Up by 20% in November

The total for gross mortgage lending was up by 28% on 2014, which represented a total of £12.8bn. This was only £0.1bn off of the seven year record set in the previous month.

Richard Woolhouse, chief economist at the BBA, said that these numbers displayed “the continued strength of the mortgage market”.

The organisation went on to say that British consumers had borrowed more money on credit cards in the build-up to the seasonal shopping spree.

There has been widespread speculation that the Bank of England will be raising the base rate of interest at some point in 2016. As a result of this there has been a surge in the number of people who are trying to push through their mortgage applications in order to make the most of some of the record-breaking low deals that are currently on offer.

The chief executive of the mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, Mark Harris, said:

“The mortgage market shows no sign of slowing down. It’s been a busy year for many brokers as borrowers take advantage of exceptionally low mortgage rates.”

The BBA also released figures displaying the level of borrowing on credit cards in the UK for the month of November. Their report revealed that total credit card borrowing went up by £713m in November, which was more than the increase seen in the previous month- £422m in October. The BBA stated that there had been a total of 242m items bought, which combined to a sum of £13.2bn.

The chief economist at HIS Global Insight, Howard Archer, said that this increase in consumer credit will add fuel to the growing fears about the development of a consumer debt bubble.

He commented saying:

“This will fuel concern that consumers are borrowing more and saving less to finance their spending, which is likely a consequence of relatively high consumer confidence and extended low interest rates.

“This is something that the Bank of England needs to keep a close eye on, and it does appear that some MPC members are becoming more worried.”

The BBA also looked at the outlook for the economy as a whole and reported on the financing trends that are beginning to develop among companies. They said that there has been a move away from loans at overdrafts for businesses, and people are instead attempting to raise money through the capital markets or buy issuing more shares that can be purchased by investors.

The British Banking Association said that companies raised a total of £23.2bn in the first 11 months of 2015. The total amount being borrowed from banks, however, fell by £300m. It is believed that a fall in demand from the manufacturing, electricity and real estate sectors was partially responsible for this.

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