UK mort­gage ap­provals in­crease

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

LON­DON: U.K. mort­gage ap­provals un­ex­pect­edly rose in De­cem­ber, in­di­cat­ing the hous­ing mar­ket main­tained its mo­men­tum go­ing into 2016. Ap­provals climbed to 70,837 from 70,424 in Novem­ber, the Bank of Eng­land said on Mon­day. Econ­o­mists had fore­cast a de­cline to 69,600, ac­cord­ing to a Bloomberg News sur­vey. Net mort­gage lend­ing de­clined to 3.2 bil­lion pounds ($4.6 bil­lion) from 3.8 bil­lion pounds. The fig­ures add to ev­i­dence of a buoy­ant hous­ing mar­ket, with low in­ter­est rates and record em­ploy­ment fu­el­ing de­mand that's un­matched by new sup­ply. The ef­fec­tive in­ter­est rate on new se­cured loans was un­changed at 2.55 per­cent in De­cem­ber. The rate on out­stand­ing mort­gages de­clined 2 ba­sis points to 2.99 per­cent. Net lend­ing to con­sumers de­clined to 1.2 bil­lion pounds from 1.5 bil­lion pounds in Novem­ber, the BOE re­port shows. Busi­ness lend­ing fell 3.7 bil­lion pounds, with loans to smaller com­pa­nies de­clin­ing 299 mil­lion pounds, the big­gest drop since De­cem­ber 2014. M4, a broad mea­sure of money sup­ply, fell 0.2 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous month and was up 0.2 per­cent from a year ear­lier. An un­der­ly­ing mea­sure of M4 slowed to growth of 4 per­cent on a 3-month an­nu­al­ized ba­sis from 6.2 per­cent. The BOE also said over­seas in­vestors sold a net 1.7 bil­lion pounds of gilts in De­cem­ber com­pared with a net pur­chase of 13 bil­lion pounds in Novem­ber. A sep­a­rate re­port Mon­day showed an in­dex of U.K. man­u­fac­tur­ing un­ex­pect­edly rose in Jan­uary as do­mes­tic de­mand off­set the weak­est ex­port per­for­mance in seven months. The pound was lit­tle changed af­ter the data at $1.4305, up 0.4 per­cent from Fri­day.

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