The number of mortgage approvals in July was up 30 per cent on an annual basis, according to figures published today by the Bank of England.
The Bank’s latest money and credit report the number of loan approvals for house purchase in July this year was 60,624, a 30 per cent increase on the 46,665 approvals in July last year.
Gross lending also increased on an annualised basis by 0.5 per cent, reaching £14.6bn in July, up from £14.5bn last July.
E.surv Chartered Surveyors director Richard Sexton says: “House purchase lending is 30 per cent higher than July last year, which reflects the drastic improvement in the availability of high loan to value mortgages over the past year.”
“The choice of mortgages available to borrowers is at its highest level since the financial crisis, which has opened up the market to a much wider spectrum of people.”
Separately, the Building Societies Association published figures today showing gross lending by building societies and other mutuals was roughly £4bn in July, compared with around £3bn in July last year – a 30 per cent increase. This is the highest monthly figure since data was first published for the mutual sector in 2010.
The value of mortgage approvals in July also hit the highest levels since 2010 at £4.2bn compared to £2.8bn in July last year.
In the first seven months of the year gross lending by mutuals was £22.2bn, up 30 per cent compared to £17.1bn in the same period last year. This gives mutuals a 24 per cent share of gross lending in the year to July, up from 21 per cent in the same period in 2012.
Net new mortgage lending by mutuals was £1.3bn in July and £6.8bn in the first seven months of the year.
Retail savings balances at mutuals rose by £0.7bn in July and by £5.7bn in the first seven months of the year. In the first seven months of 2012 balances at mutuals rose by just £0.8bn.
BSA head of savings policy Brian Morris says: “Net lending by the sector was £6.8bn in the seven months to July, whilst net lending by other institutions, such as banks, has been in negative territory. Mutuals are increasing their lending to the real economy, helping to boost economic activity in the UK.
“First-time buyers, and in particular those with smaller deposits are being actively supported by mutuals. In the first seven months of the year over a quarter of lending by mutuals to first time buyers was to those with a deposit of ten per cent or less.”