UK mortgage approvals rose to a 6-month high in January, the Bank of England reported Thursday.
The number of mortgages approved in January rose to 67,478 from 61,692 in December. This was the highest level since July 2017 and above consensus of 62,000.
Secured lending grew at a steady pace of 3.3 percent, with lending at GBP 3.4 billion, the bank said. Economists had forecast an increase of GBP 3.6 billion.
At the same time, consumer credit rose GBP 1.4 billion, as expected. Consumer credit rose 0.7 percent on month, taking the annual rate to 9.3 percent in January.
Meanwhile, lending to non-financial businesses fell by GBP 1.6 billion in January. Loans to small-and-medium sized enterprises decreased GBP 0.7 billion, the largest decline since December 2014.
Monetary aggregate M4 rebounded 1.5 percent in January, in contrast to a 0.6 percent drop in December. On a yearly basis, M4 growth accelerated to 4.3 percent from 3.8 percent a month ago.