08 February 2016
‘Surprise jump’ in mortgage approvals
Mortgage approvals climbed to a four-month high in December, reveals the Bank of England.
A total of 70,837 mortgages with a combined value of £12.3 billion were handed out to home-buyers during the month.
It is the highest tally seen since 70,748 approvals were recorded in August, according to the Bank's Money and Credit report.
Richard Woolhouse, chief economist at banking lobby group the BBA, says the increase is evidence that the housing market is in robust health.
The data shows consumer credit also continued to grow at its strongest level for almost a decade, up £1.2 billion in December.
Consumers owed a total of £178.7 billion on credit cards and loans - the largest amount since February 2006.
It has raised fears that people across the country are becoming over-reliant on personal loans, overdrafts and credit cards in order to get by.