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Mortgage lending increased during April

Mortgage lending increased during April

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 02/06/2010
First Published: 02/06/2010

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
The value of mortgage lending in the UK crept up during April compared with March, as did the number of house purchases.

Figures from the Bank of England show that the number of mortgages approved for house purchases rose to 49,871 during April, up slightly from a March total of 49,008.

While the total is less than the previous six month average of 53,098, it is still the highest figure seen in 2010 so far and is up on the 45,529 mortgage approvals for house purchases in April 2009.

The mortgage market has been sluggish since the turn of the year, and it is hoped that the increase of the stamp duty threshold to £250,000 for first time buyers will give a much needed kick start to the sector.

However, Darren Cook, spokesperson for Moneyfacts.co.uk, warned: "Lenders are slowly relaxing their criteria and there are a growing number of mortgages available with a deposit of 20% or less, but these mortgages come with a premium of a higher rate.

"The best rates are still only available to with large deposits and far out of reach of many would be first time buyers."

Momentum has been in short supply since the end of the stamp duty holiday at the end of 2009, which saw mortgage approvals climb to 59,531.

Figures also showed that remortgages remained low in April, at 26,203, as many homeowners are happy to revert to their lender's standard variable rate.

"There are 862 more mortgages available on the market today than at the beginning of the year and the overall average rates are falling," said Mr Cook.

"But with a growing number of existing borrowers reverting to standard rates as low as 2.50%, there is no motivation for them to move to another mortgage deal."

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