Home loans at eight-year high

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The Independent Online

Abbey National predicts this will be the best year for mortgage lending for eight years. Despite a summer slowdown, the chief executive Ian Harley said the market had since bounced back.

Abbey National predicts this will be the best year for mortgage lending for eight years. Despite a summer slowdown, the chief executive Ian Harley said the market had since bounced back.

Gross mortgage lending at the former building society exceeded £3 billion in the past three months.

Its online bank, cahoot, had accepted more than 45,000 online product applications since its launch in June.

* A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors shows there are signs of UK house prices stabilising, with falls in the South East.

* Westbury, the UK's sixth largest housebuilder, saw pre-tax profits in the six months to August 31 rise by 18 per cent to £29 million, against £24.6 million last time. Geoffrey Maddrell, chairman, said the Cheltenham-based company had concentrated on improving margins.

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