BBA finds mortgage lending growth eased

24 April 2007
Net mortgage lending rose by £5.1 billion in March 2007, the latest figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) show.

The figure was in line with the slightly downwardly revised increase in lending in February, but markedly lower than the £5.5 billion average growth charted over the last six months.

Demand for mortgages may be moderating as the impact of rising interest rates finally feeds through to readiness to borrow, remarked BBA's statistics director, David Dooks.

And "with no short-term prospect of costs reducing, mortgage lending growth should ease further in the months ahead", he predicted.

Meanwhile, households hit by more costly mortgages appear to be beginning to curb their unsecured lending, the survey showed.

Across all lending types, individuals' borrowing grew by £4.9 billion in March, far lower than the £5.5 billion increase recorded in March 2006.

Moreover, personal loans and overdrafts fell by £47 million and credit card lending, which rose in February, fell by £117 million.

In the immediate future, this trend is expected to continue, given widespread expectations that the base rate will rise by another quarter point this month.

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