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Mortgage approvals in UK fall surprisingly sharply

Staff writer |
Growth in the number of mortgages approved by UK lenders fell surprisingly sharply in April, according to data from the British Bankers' Association (BBA).

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There were 40,104 home loans approved in the month, down from the 43,854 approvals the BBA counted in March and short of the 44,800 consensus forecast.

Although there were lower levels of mortgage approvals, which are considered a leading indicator of the UK housing market, net mortgage borrowing was still 3% higher than a year ago, the BBA noted.

"As expected, growth in mortgage lending has fallen back sharply on last month proving that March's results were just a Stamp-Duty spike," said Rebecca Harding, BBA chief economic advisor.

She said that the growing level of personal deposits at the same time as individual savings account deposits continue to fall, suggested "consumers are using easy-access savings while the outlook for the economy remains uncertain", adding that increases in real wage growth "may start to have positive knock-on effects on long-term savings if it is sustained".

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