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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 11:51 GMT
Mortgage lending slows in January
Man looking in estate agent's window
Buyer interest for homes usually wanes during the winter
Mortgage lending continued to slow at the start of 2006, according to the British Bankers' Association (BBA).

Underlying lending, which excludes redemptions and repayments, rose by 4.61bn in January compared to an increase of 5.34bn a month earlier.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) also showed lending had hit its usual seasonal lull as house-buying activity slowed down.

Lending dipped 14% below the 26.91bn advanced in December, the CML said.

But the two group's differed on their view of the slowdown, with the BBA suggesting that it showed a recent upturn in lending had not been sustained.

'Confident'

The CML said that despite the monthly slowdown, when looked at on a year-on-year basis lending had risen by almost a third.

"Mortgage lending in all categories has been strong in recent months," CML director general Michael Coogan said.

"This reflects the fact that consumers are feeling more certain about the future of the housing market and confident that house prices are unlikely to fall."

The BBA also revealed that credit card lending weakened during the month of January - with lending increasing by 111m, significantly lower than December's 223m increase.

However, loan and overdraft borrowing surged to 609m after rising by just 78m in December, the BBA added.


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