British Banking Association data shows drop in mortgage approvals

The British Banking Association (BBA) has released data for February 2012.   
Gross mortgage lending by banks in February was £7.9 billion.  This is a drop of 1.9% compared with February 2011.  It is also a fall from January when the figure was £8.1 billion.  
The number of mortgage approvals in February was 65,737.  This is a value of £7.9 billion.  The number of approvals fell by 10% from January, when 73,550 mortgages were approved for a value of £9.1 billion.   This is also a fall from the six month average where 73,774 mortgages were approved with a value of £8.7 billion.  However, the average house purchase mortgage of £146,600 is 5% higher than February 2011.  
David Dooks, BBA statistics director commented:
“In February house purchase approvals dropped back to more normal trend levels as demand from buy-to-let investors and first-time buyers, seeking to buy before the stamp duty exemption ends in March, fell back.”  He added that “Confidence will be helped in the coming months by official schemes to support the mortgage market.”
The BBA figures show a drop which is due to the stamp duty holiday ending, but despite this the year-on-year growth looks steady.  The value of mortgage approvals for house purchases has increased by £0.61 billion.  Although the total number of approvals is lower than in February 2011, much of this is a drop in remortgages.  
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