Signs of life in the housing market

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The Independent Online

Amid the continuing economic gloom, the British Bankers' Association provided a ray of light yesterday, saying that the number of home loans approved was back up to levels last seen at the end of 2007.

More activity in the housing market was feeding through to increased mortgage lending, the BBA said, although other forms of lending, such as remortgaging, and consumer credit remained subdued. Householders are preferring to build up deposits rather than borrow.

The BBA figures showed that 42,088 mortgages were were approved last month, up from 40,841 in August. Mortgage lending, which strips out redemptions and repayments, also rose by 4.6 per cent year-on-year to £3.1bn in September. The figure was £3bn in August.

David Dooks, the BBA statistics director, said the housing market needed more properties to sell, and that increased saving showed consumer confidence was still low.