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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Mortgage lending holding steady
A ledger with a row of figures
Mortgage lending is far lower than a year ago
The UK mortgage market has "stabilised" in March after several months of falling consumer demand, UK banks and building societies have said.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) saw mortgage lending rise, while the British Bankers Association (BBA) said lending was a little weaker.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said mortgage lending rose from 17.8bn in February to 20.1bn in March.

All three groups said mortgage lending had fallen since March last year.

Steady scenario

The CML said that 69,000 new mortgages were approved in March, up from 62,000 in February.

But March's figure is down sharply on the 111,000 new mortgages approved during the same month in 2004.

"The market remains stable, and on course for the `steady as she goes' scenario," CML director general Michael Coogan said.

"The looming general election may result in a short-lived lull in activity, but overall the market is likely to continue performing in line with expectations."

The BSA said that mortgage lending rose from 2.8bn in February to 3.5bn in March, while the BBA saw lending fall from 4.7bn to 4.5bn.

"Whilst the trend in monthly mortgage growth has moderated gradually over the past year, it now appears to be stabilising," BBA spokesman David Dooks said.


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