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Society lending rises by 25% in May to £2.3bn

Building society mortgage loan approvals rose by more than a quarter in May to £2.3bn from £1.8bn in April, acc-ording to the Building Societies&#39 Association.

The figures reflect the wider market trend with mortgage lending up across the board. Council of Mortgage Lenders&#39 figures show gross lending rose to £10.3bn in May compared with £9.2bn in April.

Figures from the BSA show gross advances increased to £2.1bn in May from £1.8bn in April.

The CML says mortgage rates for new loans rose to 6.29 per cent from 6.23 per cent. The Bank of England base rate is 6 per cent. First-time buyers borrowed an average of £61,781 while subsequent buyers borrowed an average of £80,416.

Societies&#39 sales of cash Isas attracted just £470m in May compared with £850m in April. The BSA says much of this can be attributed to the increased publicity of the products in the media.

BSA director general Adrian Coles says: “Recent statistics from a range of sources suggest the housing market is cooling down slightly and finding a more level footing.”

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “Despite the higher figure for lending in May, the number of loans for house purchases has been below 1999 figures for the last two months. This appears to be led by a downturn in the proportion of first-time buyers, which may reflect the strong increase in prices in some parts of the country.”

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