Comment on Bank of England lending to individuals

Paul Hunt, Managing Director of Phoebus Software, comments on the Bank of England lending to individuals statistics for January 2012, which were released last week.  
Total lending by individuals increased by £1.8 billion in January.  This is a rise on the six month average figure of £1.1 billion.  Of this total lending, loans secured on dwellings rose by £1.6 billion, an increase on the six month average figure of £0.8 billion.  
Gross lending on dwellings for January was £12.8 billion.  This is above the six month average of £12.1 billion.  The number of loan approvals for house purchases also increased compared to the six month average.  The amount of loan approvals for house purchases in January was 58,728.  This is a rise of 3,709 from December 2011 (55,019), and compares with the six month average of 52, 839.  
The number of loan approvals for remortgaging dropped in January to 31,952, from 32,319 in December.  This figure was also lower than the six month average of 33,039.  
Paul Hunt comments:
“When one looks at the growth rate of mortgage lending over a long period, the current figures look positively anaemic — but in the context of the current economic situation the fact lending is increasing at all is very encouraging. The amount of money lent by mortgage lenders has exceeded that repaid by borrowers for nine consecutive months and lending volumes are growing too. Even when wholesale lending rates were rising at the end of last year, lenders have shown they are prepared to provide mortgage finance despite the frequently troubling economic news both at home and abroad. This is vital good news for the property market in the UK”.
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