August 24, 2017 / 8:32 AM / a year ago

UK mortgage approvals rebound to five-month high in July - UK Finance

(Reuters) - Mortgage approvals from British banks hit a five-month high in July but growth in credit card lending slowed a little, industry figures showed on Thursday.

A "For Sale" sign is seen in from of a house in London, Britain October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

British banks approved 41,587 mortgages for house purchases last month, up from 40,385 in June and 9 percent higher than in July 2016, the month that followed the vote to leave the European Union, UK Finance said.

“Steady levels of mortgage activity seen through the first half of the year continued into July,” Eric Leenders, head of personal at UK Finance, said.

“First-time buyer numbers continue to be strong, helped in part by government schemes. But that has been offset by home movers, where a shortage of homes on the market is limiting their activity.”

Credit card lending increased by 5.3 percent year-on-year in July, slowing from 5.5 percent in June and the weakest increase since March.

The figures also showed that growth in personal banking deposits hit its lowest since June 2009, rising 2.3 percent in the year to July - slowing from 2.5 percent in June.

Thursday’s UK Finance figures do not include lending by mutually owned building societies, which accounts for around third of mortgages. The next release of the more comprehensive Bank of England lending data is due on Wednesday.

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