The number of mortgage approvals from the major high street banks was up 10.7 per cent year-on-year in May, according to figures published today by the British Bankers’ Association.
The figures, which look at the major banking groups that represent two-thirds of all mortgage lending, show there was a total of 65,752 mortgage approvals in May, up from 59,386 a year earlier.
Approvals for house purchase increased 24.2 per cent from 29,079 in May 2012 to 36,102 in May this year, while remortgage approvals increased by 16.8 per cent, from 17,694 to 20,675. However, approvals for other secured borrowing, including further advances, fell 28.8 per cent from 12,613 to 8,975.
The average number of approvals over the past six months was 59,776.
The average value of loan for house purchases was £159,200 in May, down from £162,700 a year earlier. The average value over the past six months has been £152,000.
Gross mortgage lending, on a seasonally adjusted basis, was up 14.6 per cent year-on-year, from £7.5bn to £8.6bn. The six-month average for gross lending was £8bn.
Net lending was negative £520m in May, compared with a negative £14m a year before. Net lending has been a negative figure for every month since December.
Capital Economics property economist Matthew Pointon says: “Mortgage approvals are gradually clawing their way back up after five year of very subdued activity, and Government interventions are likely to mean this improvement continues.
“But as recent events in the US highlight, market conditions can change quickly once support is withdrawn, and any house price gains are unlikely to be sustainable.”
Anderson Harris director Jonathan Harris says: “While lending volumes are improving, we remain some way off a sustained recovery in the housing market as caution continues to prevail. However, mortgage brokers and estate agents are still reporting a high level of enquiries so we expect this to continue to feed through to improved official figures in coming months.”