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MNI: UK November Mortgage Approvals Ease: UK Finance

MNI (London)
--Nov Mortgage Approvals 39,403 vs 39,640 October: UK Finance
By Jamie Satchi
     LONDON (MNI) - Mortgage approvals declined in November, continuing to
signal weak but stable demand in the UK housing market, UK Finance (UKF) data
published Friday showed.
     The November UKF figures provide further evidence that housing market
activity remains soft at best, with approvals a good indicator of future house
purchase levels. 
     In November there were 39,403 mortgage approvals, down from 39,640 in
     November's outturn means approvals will have declined over at least half of
the year, which -- although not out of line with historical records -- remains
concerning given the low base at which approvals have found themselves over the
     Year-to-date, approvals have averaged 39,171 per month, markedly below the
51,072 series average (record began in September 1997) and also its six-month
average of 39,503. 
     That said, on a year-over-year basis November's result, up 0.21% y/y, did
end a run of 13 consecutive declines.    
     Remortgage approvals also slid in November, down to 27,404 from 28,092 in
     Year-to-date, remortage approvals have averaged 28,492 per month, so
November's near-1,000 drop suggests households did not feel confident to
renegotiate the terms of their mortgage or that they are not currently looking
to free up liquidity to fund other purchases.     
     The net change in mortgage lending in March was just stg1.562 billion, up
from stg1.492 billion a month before.
     "Overall mortgage borrowing across the residential property market remains
stable and the trend in households' cash savings remains steady," Eric Leenders,
UK Finance Managing Director for Retail Banking said.
     "Total credit card spending increased in November, while borrowing growth
remains constant compared with November last year. The increase in spending,
which is largely offset by cardholder repayments, reflects the growing use of
credit cards as a preferred form of payment, particularly in travel, as
consumers take advantage of stronger customer protection and value-added
benefits," he added.
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203-586-2226; email:
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email:
[TOPICS: MABDS$,M$B$$$,M$E$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 |

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