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UK mortgage approvals edge higher in September

Staff Writer |
Mortgage approvals in Britain rose more than expected in September as the housing market remained resilient following the Brexit vote, Bank of England data revealed.

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The number of mortgage approvals for house purchases increased to 62,932 in September from 60,984 in August, the highest since June and above the forecast for 61,500 approvals.

However, compared to the same month a year ago, mortgage approvals were down 9.6%. Housing market activity has slowed since an increase in stamp duty on second homes and buy-to-let properties in April. Uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote has also deterred some prospective house buyers.

"On the positive side, pretty solid fundamentals for house buyers - high employment, decent purchasing power and very low mortgage rates - have remained a source of support for the housing market while a shortage of properties has also supported house prices," said Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight.

The BOE data also showed consumer lending growth slowed and missed estimates. It rose by £1.405bn in September compared to forecasts of £1.5bn and the previous month's £1.635bn increase.

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