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-BOE UK Aug house purchase approvals 66,440 vs 65,156 Jul  
     LONDON (MNI) - Mortgage approvals in August hit their 
highest level since January, with average interest rates on mortgages
having risen only marginally since the Bank of England Monetary Policy 
Committee started tightening.
     Mortgage approvals rose to 66,440 in August, up from 65,156 in 
July, the highest outturn since the 67,275 seen in the first month of 
this year. The MPC first raised Bank Rate from 0.25% to 0.50% last 
November and then again to 0.75% this August, but mortgagees have seen 
little of the increase, supporting demand for new borrowing.
     The BOE's quoted rates data, showing 'shop window' mortgage 
interest rates, revealed that the average rate on a two year 75% 
loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage was 1.75%, up 2 basis points on the month 
and the highest since June 2016.
     This average rate, however, was only 14 basis points higher than 
when the MPC first hiked Bank Rate. On a 75% LTV three year fix, the 
average interest rate was again only 14 basis points higher than last 
     The change in mortgage lending in August was a rise of stg2.904 
billion, down from a rise of stg2.970 billion in July.
     Unsecured borrowing, net consumer credit, in August rose by  
stg1.118 billion, up from stg0.838 billion in July. 
-London newsroom: e-mail: