The Bank of England today released their assessment of the latest trends in lending to the UK economy,
The data set covers the major UK lenders: Banco Santander, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide and Royal Bank of Scotland. Together they accounted for 75% of the stock of mortgage lending at the end of 2009. The report covers official data up to June 2010, supplemented by data from the major UK lenders and intelligence gathered up to end-July 2010.
The flow of net mortgage lending by all UK-resident mortgage lenders was little changed in June. Gross lending for house purchase in July was similar to that in June, though approvals for house purchase edged down according to data from the major UK lenders. Some major UK lenders reported that recent higher longer-term funding costs had contributed to a rise in spreads on longer-term fixed-rate mortgage products. The overall effective rate on new mortgages was little changed in June and the twelve-month growth rate was unchanged at 0.8% in July. The three-month annualised growth rate fell fractionally from 0.6% in June to 0.5% in July. Within the total, net lending secured on dwellings increased by £0.1 billion, below the June increase of £0.5 billion and the previous six-month average of £0.8 billion. The twelve-month growth rate rose slightly in July to 1.0%, from 0.9% in June.
The three-month annualised growth rate decreased to 0.4%, from 0.6% in June. Mortgage approvals were 48,722, more or less in line with 48,562 mortgages granted in June and the average in the previous six months. Prior to the crisis, about 100,000 mortgages were typically granted every month over the preceding decade and a half. Approvals for remortgaging (26,951) were up on June and also higher than the previous six-month average (26,235), while approvals for other purposes (24,220) decreased in July and were also below the previous six month average of 24,831.
Alan Clarke, economist at BNP Paribas said; “The trend over the last year and this latest monthly reading suggest housing is, at best, going nowhere fast”.
Commenting on the latest data, CML economist Paul Samter, said: "Net lending turned positive in August, and for the first eight months of the year it has totalled £5.5 billion. Housing market activity has flattened off, but remains stable and well above the very low levels seen a year ago. The weak economy and limited capacity to lend is continuing to restrict further improvement and we expect lending to remain subdued."