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UK mortgage approvals hit nearly 2-1/2-year high in July - UK Finance

UK mortgage approvals hit nearly 2-1/2-year high in July - UK Finance
FILE PHOTO: Sold new build homes are seen on a development in south London June 3, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning -
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Andrew Winning(Reuters)
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British banks last month approved the most mortgages since February 2017, adding to signs that the housing market has picked up from its recent pre-Brexit slowdown, a survey showed on Tuesday.

Banks approved 43,342 mortgages in July, up from 42,775 in March and 10.6% higher than a year earlier, according to seasonally-adjusted figures from industry body UK Finance.

Net mortgage lending rose by 2.947 billion pounds last month, the biggest increase since March 2016 and up from an increase of 1.764 billion pounds in June.

Britain’s housing market slowed sharply in the run-up to the original March Brexit deadline but there have been signs that buyers and sellers are taking advantage of the delay to act ahead of the new Oct. 31 deadline.

Consumer spending has remained solid, sustaining the economy since the 2016 Brexit referendum while businesses have cut investment spending due to uncertainty.

UK Finance said consumer lending rose 4.3% year-on-year in July, the strongest increase since February 2018.

Lending figures from the Bank of England, which cover a broader section of Britain’s finance industry, are due on Friday.

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