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Home loans soar to four-year high

HOME LOAN advances soared to their highest level in four years in July, according to Barclays Mortgage Index. Gross lending rose 18 per cent to over pounds 9bn compared with under pounds 8bn in the same month a year ago.

But the chief of Barclays Mortgages, Jim Chadwick, said the growth was largely fuelled by remortgages based on competitively-priced fixed rates. The market continues to give mixed signals, with house prices showing modest increases but turnover weak and a shortage of properties for sale.