March 26, 2019 / 9:52 AM / 2 months ago

British banks approve fewer mortgages in February as Brexit nears - UK Finance

FILE PHOTO: Property sale signs are seen outside of a group of newly built houses in west London, Britain, November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British banks approved fewer mortgages in February than during January, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Seasonally-adjusted data from the UK Finance industry body showed banks approved 39,083 mortgages last month, down from 39,910 in January.

The value of net mortgage lending increased by 711 million pounds, the smallest rise since April 2016 and around half the size of increases in much of last year.

The figures added to signs of a weakening in Britain’s housing market ahead of Brexit.

Overall consumer credit growth also slowed, rising by 3.8 percent compared with February last year, the smallest increase since October, the UK Finance data showed.

(This story corrects number of mortgages approved and deletes reference to six-year low after data provider UK Finance released corrected figures)

Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken

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