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-BOE UK March house purchase approvals 62,914 vs 63,781 Feb
     LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England data showed that consumer credit 
growth in March was the slowest since November 2012.
     Net consumer credit, a measure of unsecured borrowing growth, fell 
to just stg254 million in March after expanding by stg1.660 billion in 
February. The declines was driven both higher repayments and weaker 
demand, at a time when surveys have shown consumer confidence is 
fragile.
     Secured lending growth was little changed in March. The net 
change in secured lending was stg3.968 billion, up from stg3.887 billion 
in February.
     Mortgage approvals, a reliable indicator of future secured 
borrowing, dipped to 62,914 in March from 63,781 in February. This was 
below the previous six month average of 64,544 and points to some 
cooling in the housing market.
     Bank director Alex Brazier recently told officials at the Treasury 
Select Committee that the headline mortgage numbers reflected 
substantial fall in buy-to-let mortgages being, at least partially, 
offset by strong owner occupier demand.
     Average interest rates on new mortgages edged higher in March. The 
average effective rate on new loans was 2.04%, up from 2.02% in 
February.
     The average effective rate on the stock of mortgages held steady in 
March from February at 2.51%, the lowest on record. 
     The leading BOE quoted rates data, which show "shop window" 
mortgage rates, showed small montly rises across a wide range of 
products in March, suggesting effective interest rates have further to 
rise.     
-email: david.robinson@marketnews.com  
[TOPICS: M$B$$$,M$$BE$,MABDS$]