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Mortgage approvals creep upwards

Mortgage approvals creep upwards

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 04/05/2010
First Published: 04/05/2010

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.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 number of mortgages approved for home buyers increased slightly in March, although the market remains sluggish.

Some 48,901 approvals were made during the month, an improvement on the 46,882 in February and up by 17% on an annual basis, figures from the Bank of England show.

March's figures are below the previous six month average of 54,201.

However, the improvements on 2009 are rather misleading as the first three months of last year saw the lowest number of approvals on record for a first quarter.

The figures from the year so far are, in fact, the second lowest first quarter figures on record.

Approvals for remortgages totalled 27,880 in March, an improvement on February's figures and the previous six month average of 25,853.

Separate data from the Building Societies Association (BSA) has revealed that savers took more money out than they put into their accounts in March.

The net outflow of £318 million marks the twelfth month from the last thirteen that mutuals have seen more money withdrawn than deposited.

The disappointing figures follow an inflow of £623 million in February, but Adrian Coles, director general of the BSA remained positive.

"The mutual sector continues to offer some of the most consistently competitive savings rates, but people may instead consider making additional mortgage payments or using savings to support their incomes in this challenging economic climate, or they may be looking to invest in the equity markets," he commented.

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