LONDON (Reuters) - British banks approved the most mortgages for house purchases since September 2017 last month and remortgaging saw a boost as households tried to lock in cheap borrowing costs before an expected Bank of England interest rate rise, industry data showed on Wednesday.
UK Finance, which represents major lenders, said banks approved 40,541 mortgages for house purchases in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, up from 39,528 in May though a fraction lower than the same month a year ago.
Total net mortgage lending was up 2.162 billion pounds on the month, the biggest rise since December 2017 though again slightly weaker than a year earlier.
“Growth in mortgage lending continues to be driven by remortgaging, as borrowers take advantage of attractive deals ahead of an anticipated Bank rate rise,” said Eric Leenders, UK Finance’s managing director for personal finance.
Most economists polled by Reuters expect the BoE to raise its key rate to 0.75 percent from 0.5 percent next week.
Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg