New home loans at three-month high

 

Mortgage approvals to home buyers edged up to a three-month high in April, in further signs of a housing market pick-up.

Some 53,710 approvals worth £8 billion were made for house purchase, marking the highest number seen since January, the Bank of England reported.

The report adds to a series of studies indicating that confidence is returning to the housing market and that people are finding it easier to get access to a mortgage.

Building society Nationwide reported yesterday that house prices had recorded their strongest year-on-year growth in 18 months in May.

The number of mortgages on the market has sharply increased and lenders have slashed their rates to some of their lowest ever levels since the Government launched its Funding for Lending scheme last August, which gives lenders access to cheap finance.

Other schemes, called NewBuy and Help to Buy have also been introduced specifically to give people with smaller deposits a helping hand.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has been reporting increased first-time buyer numbers in recent months and estate agents have also said that more "serious" buyers are entering the market.

Despite the recent uplift, Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist for IHS Global Insight, said that the continued squeeze on household finances from low wage growth and high living costs will still act as a drag on housing market activity.

He said: "While a moderate rise in house prices over 2013 looks ever more probable, a strong upward move remains unlikely given a still challenging and uncertain economic environment despite the recent signs of limited improvement."

The Bank's figures also showed that credit card lending fell back to the lowest levels seen since last October, with a £102 million increase recorded in April.

Lending on personal loans and overdrafts increased by £422 million, which was the highest figure seen since the Christmas period in December.

Analysts have said that there is generally still a strong desire among consumers to pay down their debts and shore up their savings amid the uncertain economy.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Guru Careers: Investment Writer / Stock Picker

Competitive (Freelance) : Guru Careers: An Investment Writer / Stock Picker is...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue