The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase in the U.K. declined more than expected in February, data released by the British Bankers' Association (BBA) showed Friday.
Mortgage approvals totaled 33,103 in February, down from a downwardly revised 37,977 in January. Economists had forecast approvals to come in at 37,250.
"Businesses and households continue to be cautious about their finances in the face of difficult economic times and this shows up in an reluctance to take on new credit, or where possible, seeking to pay back bank borrowing," BBA Statistics Director David Dooks said.
"Confidence will be helped in the coming months by official schemes to support the mortgage market and stimulate business demand for credit," Dooks noted.
In February, annual growth in banks' net mortgage lending was 1.2 percent, which outstripped the 0.8 percent gain across the whole lending market, BBA said. Unsecured lending contracted 1.8 percent over the 12 months to February, while personal deposits rose 3.8 percent.
Gross mortgage lending amounted to GBP 7.9 million in February, 1.9 percent lower than last year.
by RTT Staff Writer
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