Mortgage approvals ease below forecasts in October, BBA data shows


The number of mortgage approvals for the month of October came in below analysts' expectations after hitting a 4-year high in September, the British Bankers Association said today.

Its figures showed 42,808 house purchase approvals last month from the main high street banks, which accounted for some two-thirds of all mortgage lending.

This was marginally below September’s 45-month high but still 33% above last year’s figure, thanks to the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending and the Government’s Help to Buy schemes.

Economists said the early launch of the second mortgage guarantee phase of Help to Buy was likely to lead to another surge.

IHS Global Insight’s Howard Archer said: “There is a significant risk that house prices could really take off across a widening range of regions over the coming months.”

Business lending, however, fell £940 million over the month, reversing part of September’s encouraging £2.2 billion increase.