Mortgage approvals dip to eight-month low

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The Independent Online

The housing market seems set to remain in the doldrums for some months yet, with the latest Bank of England figures on home loans showing few signs of life. Fresh readings on consumer confidence also suggest a slippage.

Some 47,185 mortgages were approved by banks and building societies in October, an eight-month low. This is down from 47,639 in September and the recent peak of 59,215 reached in November last year. Analysts say this is "highly likely" to maintain the downward pressure on prices that has emerged recently. Approvals of 70,000 a month are regarded as consistent with a healthy market.

Despite the weakness in approval numbers, the value of lending rose to £1bn, from £200m the month before. However such monthly figures are volatile. The Bank's favoured measure of money supply barely shifted – just 0.1 per cent up on the month.

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