Housing market building momentum
Gross mortgage lending in September is estimated to have totalled £21.4bn, 5% higher than a year ago; and nearly two thirds of this lending, or £13.7bn, was carried out by high street banks.
These are among the main findings of the latest UK Finance Update On Lending report, which also notes that the level of credit card borrowing from high street banks, compared to the same month a year earlier, was 5.5% higher in September. Annual growth across the whole credit card market was stronger at 7.8%.
Business borrowing has moderated over the course of 2017, with the growth rate for borrowing by wholesale and retail businesses slowing the most, as these customer-facing sectors could be affected by any cutbacks in consumer spending.
UK Finance’s senior economist Mohammad Jamei said: “As we near the end of 2017, our data is showing that housing market activity has built up modest momentum since the start of the year, helped by an increase in first-time buyer numbers.
“Rising inflation continues to put pressure on household budgets, which is impacting consumer spending. Consumer credit growth has edged up a little compared to last month, but is in line with annual growth rates over the last year.
“Businesses remain cautious about the future amidst an uncertain economic environment, reflected by their growing deposit activity and a dip in their borrowing growth rate.”