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Aug 19

There were 95,126 mortgages approved by the main high street banks in July, the highest monthly total since July 2009, according to the latest data from UK Finance.

Its figures show that mortgage approvals for home purchase were 16.4% higher, remortgage approvals were 19.4% higher and approvals for other secured borrowing were 12.7% higher than the same month last year.

Gross mortgage lending across the residential market was £26.1 billion in July, 2.9% higher than the same month in 2018 and the highest since March 2016.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, commented: "Finally, some positive news for the housing market with mortgage approvals at the highest monthly level since July 2009. These give an indicator of lending activity in coming months so it looks as though many borrowers are shaking off their indecision and getting on with things.

"Lenders continue to offer cheap mortgage rates, so for those borrowers ready to take the plunge there are many excellent deals to tempt them."

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, added: "House purchase mortgage approvals are always a good lead indicator of market activity and although on their own don’t represent a summer bounce, they do show once again resilience among serious buyers and sellers and a determination to put Brexit concerns to one side.

"Looking forward, we are certainly seeing a little more optimism which will undoubtedly improve if the prospects for a deal pick up or even if negotiations are concluded one way or the other."

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