Mortgage approvals hit fresh high But Business lending Slump grows Deeper

Mortgage approvals hit fresh high But Business lending Slump grows Deeper The Bank of England says that the number of mortgage approvals made to UK home buyers has grown to a six-year high.

A total amount  worth STG11.1 billion ($A20.6 billion) for a number of 70,758 loans were approved for house purchases in November, which marked the highest total seen since 72,004 loans that were given the green light in January 2008.

However the recovery seen in the housing market was not extended to business lending.

The figures were released as building society Nationwide reported UK house prices had surged by 8.4 per cent during 2013.

Nationwide said, prices grew by 1.4 per cent month-on-month in December to touch STG175, 826 on averages, although they were about five per cent below all-time highs recorded in late 2007.

UK economist at Capital Economics, Samuel Tombs, said the Bank's figures explain that "while mortgage borrowing is continuing to recover, lending to the rest of the economy has remained subdued".

According to him what had helped to boost the figures was the launch of the government's new `Help to Buy' mortgage guarantee scheme in October, to give people with low deposits help onto or up the housing ladder.

Though new buyer inquiries at estate agents had apparently continued to rise, he said anecdotal evidence recommended many applicants were still failing banks' strict affordability tests.