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UK housing market faces pressure, banks approved fewer mortgages

Staff Writer |
British banks approved a smaller number of mortgages last month, according to the British Banking Association's (BBA) monthly report on Friday, putting some pressure on the housing market.

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Mortgage approvals fell back to 42,613 in February, which was 3.4% lower than January's revised 12-month high of 44,142, 4.6% lower compared to the February last year and some way short of the 44,900 consensus forecast.

The BBA's high street banking data showed mortgage borrowing of £13.4bn fell 4.3% compared to the preceding month but was up 4.6% year on year, or 2.5% after allowing for repayments.

Non-financial companies borrowed £1.6bn less in February compared to last year as some short-term borrowing unwound.

"Elevated approval volumes for house purchases and re-mortgaging experienced during the winter months fell back in February, to average levels seen throughout most of last year," said Eric Leenders, BBA managing director for retail banking.

The BBA also reported that consumer credit grew growth slowed an annual rate of 6.6% and that business borrowing continued to be subdued, growing by 0.9% annually.

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