November lending down year on year

November figures from the high street banks show that net mortgage lending increased by £1.5bn in November, the lowest increase since August 1999, compared to £3.4bn in the same month in 2009.

Mortgage repayments to banks were strong in November reflecting the increase in remortgage approvals in recent months.

The annual growth in the banks’ net mortgage lending was 3.2% in November, substantially ahead of the 0.8% for the whole mortgage market in October.

House purchase approvals were marginally lower in November. The average value of house purchase approvals (£145,000) rose slightly in November and was 1.9% higher than a year ago.

Numbers of remortgage approvals in November were stronger than the recent six-month average as an increased number of borrowers switched lenders when rolling over fixed rate loans.

Approval numbers for equity withdrawal loans continued to be weak.

Commenting, BBA statistics director, David Dooks said: “Remortgaging with banks was strong in November as borrowers chose to replace maturing fixed-term mortgages.

“Credit card purchases were fairly strong in November in line with retail sales but repayments also kept up, so the annual growth rate for credit card lending was slightly lower.

“Lending to non-financial companies showed its first net increase since February, partly reflecting finance for takeover activity.”