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Purchase loans up by 77% but remortgages plunge

The number of remortgage approvals plummeted by 60 per cent to 21,282 last month from 52,717 in September 2008, according to figures from the British Bankers’ Association.

House purchase approvals rose by 77 per cent over the same period from 23,808 to 42,088, with £5.9bn of house purchase loans approved in September compared to £3.2bn in the same month last year.

Legal & General director of mortgages Ben Thompson says: “The remortgage market is as dead as a dodo, according to the figures from the BBA, and let’s face it, this situation is not going to change much for a long time to come. As long as the bank rate stays this low – and why shouldn’t it given today’s GDP figures? – then there is little incentive for borrowers to shift from their standard variable rate.”

BBA statistics director David Dooks says: “Mortgage lending by the high-street banks is continuing to improve from the lows seen earlier this year and the number of house purchase approvals continues to recover.

“Housing market activity will depend, however, on more properties coming on to the market.”

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