Hope for house market as mortgage approvals rise

Commenting on the figures, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said numbers were still very low on any historic comparison and there were 36% fewer house purchase approvals in the first half of 2009 than the same period of 2008.

The UK’s outstanding mortgage book is effectively stagnating at the moment with the adjusted net lending total of £343million in June almost unchanged from May (£331million), which was the lowest adjusted monthly figure on record.

CML economist Paul Samter said: "Activity is certainly more positive than at the start of the year. This is consistent with the improvement in housing market sentiment, but the outlook is still sluggish, as capacity constraints on the lending industry and continuing deterioration in the labour market will act as a brake on the pick up.

"Overall, these numbers are consistent with our outlook for a gradual improvement from historic lows following the financial system turmoil last year, but for any recovery to be slow and drawn out."

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