Total Lending up in January

The Bank of England have released their figures for January lending to individuals, which show that total lending has risen to £1.5 billion, compared to the previous six month average of £0.8 billion. The growth rate has remained static at 0.7 per cent.
Loan approvals for house buyers did increase in January, 45,723, but remained lower that the previous six month average of 46,686.  Those staying put and remortgaging increased in January, 33,498, and were also higher than the previous six month average of 30,407.
Approvals for other purposes rose slightly to 20,460 but remained lower than the previous six month average of 22,908.
Commenting on the latest figures David Whittaker, Managing Director of Mortgages for Business said:
“This is a tentative step in the right direction rather than a leap towards recovery.  The key concern for the Bank of England is what to do with rates and with every MPC meeting it seems we’re getting closer to a rise.  Until there is a rise in the base rate, though, the mortgage market will languish.  Any borrower currently sitting on an SVR mortgage will have their feet up enjoying their low payments but as soon as rates go up there will be a flurry of activity in the lending market as those who decided not to fix scramble for the best deals.  While a rate rise will mean more expense repayments it could be the shot in the arm the market needs.”
The jump in remortgage applications could be down to homeowners, worried about rate increases, attempting to get the best deal before the rush.
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