Mortgage lending ‘still rising’

Mortgage lending is continuing to rise even as unsecured borrowing falls, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has observed.

Borrowing data for November showed that the seasonally-adjusted sum value of homebuyer loans was £3.3 billion, up on October’s £3.2 billion and the six-monthly average of £2.7 billion.

In contrast, unsecured borrowing dipped by £0.3 billion in the month, more than the £0.2 billion drop seen in October.

Such differing trends reflect “household priorities”, BBA director of statistics David Dooks commented.

Mortgages are now clearly on the up, he noted, remarking: “In the housing sector, prices have continued to edge up and approvals for house purchase are now back at a similar level to that of two years ago”.

Commenting on the data, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors senior economist Oliver Gilmartin said the growth of the market is likely to push house prices higher over 2010, although there will be some “moderation” in this trend as the year goes on.

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