Mortgage approvals rise

Bank of England figures have revealed 47,312 mortgages were approved last month, up from 44,124 in June.

Paul Hunt, managing director of Phoebus Software said the signs of recovery in the market were uplifting and said it wasn’t the only sign that the market was picking up.

Mr Hunt said: “Increasing competition between lenders is driving a slew of new better value mortgage products.

“Just this week we have seen mortgage sales from lenders and rate cuts from building societies.

“These are hugely positive steps that reflect the change in attitude of lenders — they want and need to attract customers for the first time in a long time.”

The figure is still under the monthly average of nearly 51,000 approvals recorded in the previous six months.

It’s too early to tell the effects of the Funding for Lending scheme which it is hoped will see an increase in funds available for borrowers.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) said mutual lenders approved 26% of all mortgage loans in July, and 24% in the first seven months of this year.

Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA, said: "Mutuals are currently enjoying a sustained increase in lending activity and an increase in deposits from savers.

"Lending activity by mutuals has been growing strongly on a year-on-year basis for some time now, and in July, gross lending rose again, by a healthy 44%."

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