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November net lending on the up, says Bank

The Bank of England has revealed that net lending to individuals in the UK increased slightly in November 2008, but still remains extremely muted.

According to its latest statistics, the increase in total net lending to individuals in November of £1.5bn was higher than the October increase, but below the previous six-month average.

Within the total, the increase in net lending secured on dwellings of £0.7bn was higher than the October increase, but below the previous six-month average. The twelve-month growth rate slowed further, to 3.9 per cent.

Although the amount of money lent increased, the numbers of loans approved for house purchase, 27,000, remortgaging, 42,000, and for other purposes, 32,000, were all lower than in October and lower than their previous six-month average.

On Friday, it was revealed that house prices across the UK fell by another 2.2 per cent at the end of last year, amounting to a record year-on-year drop of 16.2 per cent.

Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis says: “Continuing pressures on incomes and the negative impact of the dislocation of the financial markets on the availability of mortgage finance are expected to exert further downward pressure on the market over the coming months.

“But a number of factors will help to support demand and should help to limit the downturn. Improving housing affordability and an easing in the pressure on the majority of households’ finances should support market activity and prices. The house price to earnings ratio – a key affordability measure – is at its lowest for five and a half years.”

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