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Last Updated: Friday, 19 May 2006, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
Mortgage lending falls in April
Detached house
Steady underlying demand for mortgages
Mortgage lending fell back in April, according to industry figures.

The Council for Mortgage Lending said gross lending last month was 25bn - 12% lower than in March but still 16% higher than a year ago.

The British Bankers Association said April's net lending - which includes repayments - rose by 5bn.

However this was lower than both the 5.5bn rise seen in March, and the average of 5.1bn lent during the past six months.

'Stabilising'

"The level of new mortgage approvals has stabilised in recent months, and we do not expect the underlying level of lending to rise from recent levels," said Council for Mortgage Lending director general Michael Coogan.

"In the past couple of months the interest rate picture has changed and financial markets are expecting the Bank of England to raise rates this summer.

"If this happens, housing and mortgage market activity is likely to slow down from the recent high levels as the year progresses."

David Dooks, director of statistics at the British Bankers Association, added that the trend in lending was stable.

"After March's stronger figures, mortgage lending fell back in April to around the recent average and, although credit card lending was stronger, that has to be viewed against the rare net repayment seen in March," he said.


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