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UPDATE 1-UK mortgage approvals jump as housing market bounces back

Tue, 1st Sep 2020 10:03

(Adds details, background, combines with PMI storry)

LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - British mortgage lending
accelerated in July, a latest sign of a post-lockdown
bounce-back in the housing market, and consumers returned to
borrowing, data from the Bank of England showed on Tuesday.

Mortgage approvals jumped to 66,300 from just under 40,000
in June and seven times higher than their coronavirus pandemic
low of barely more than 9,000 in May, the data showed.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected about 55,000
approvals in July.

"Overall, these figures support other evidence that the
economy continued to recover in July," Andrew Wishart, an
economist with Capital Economics, said.

"But we still think that the realisation of more job losses
after the furlough scheme started to be wound up in August will
cause the recovery to slow."

Finance minister Rishi Sunak cut a duty on house purchase
for many buyers in July as part of his emergency measures to
spark the housing market and the broader economy which shrank by
a record 20.4% in the April-June period.

However, the approvals figure remained below its level of
nearly 74,000 in February.

Similarly, the amount of mortgage lending in July rose by a
net 2.7 billion pounds, up from 2.4 billion in June but still a
long way below an average of 4.2 billion pounds in the six
months before the lockdown.

Consumer borrowing picked up, increasing by 1.2 billion
pounds in July after four months of net repayments, slightly
above the average borrowing before the lockdown.

But lending on credit cards remained down about 10% from a
year earlier.

Separately on Tuesday, a survey confirmed that British
factory output recovered some ground in August when output rose
at the fastest pace in more than six years, but the improvement
was from low levels.
(Reporting by William Schomberg and Andy Bruce)

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