UK mortgage approvals increased to a 4-month high in May, the Bank of England said Friday.
The number of loans approved for house purchases increased to 64,526 in May from 62,941 in April. This was the highest since January and above the expected level of 62,200.
May’s rise in mortgage approvals was too small to suggest that a revival in the lending market is underway, Ed Stansfield, an economist at Capital Economics, said.
Not only was the number of mortgages approved comfortably within the range which has typified the last four years, but it was still lower than the total reported this time last year, the economist added.
Data showed that lending to individuals increased by GBP 5.3 billion or 0.3 percent in May. At the same time, secured lending rose by GBP 3.9 billion after rising GBP 3.8 billion a month ago.
Consumer credit grew GBP 1.4 billion or 0.7 percent. Meanwhile, loans to non-financial businesses declined GBP 1 billion in May.