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BBA Lending Records First YOY Fall Since '00

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LONDON (Dow Jones)--U.K. gross mortgage lending rose in September, but for the first time in four years the increase was lower than the year before, according to data from the British Bankers Association released Wednesday.

Total mortgage lending rose by GBP16.273 billion in September, down from August's increase of GBP16.610 billion, and below the GBP16.917 billion rise reported a year earlier.

In seasonally adjusted terms net lending rose by GBP4.4 billion. This was unchanged from August's report, "reflecting little change in demand," the BBA said.

"Within mortgage lending, gross lending was, unusually, lower than for the same month a year earlier," said BBA director of statistics David Dooks.

Wednesday's data mirrors mortgage lending figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders last week, which showed lower lending increases than in the same month a year earlier.

The Bank of England should welcome the BBA data as they show the economic slowdown is continuing. This will give the central bank more time to monitor the economy and inflation levels, and supports expectations it will keep rates on hold at its November meeting.

The number of loans approved for house purchases in September were 6.4% lower than in August. In September 59,905 loans were approved, compared with 64,032 the month before.

"Net approvals for house purchase continued to slow, so consequently it would seem likely that underlying net mortgage lending will continue to be relatively weaker," Dooks said.

The average house purchase loan approved in September fell to GBP111,100 from GBP112,100 in August, the BBA said.

In September the total number of loans approved was 195,100 with a total value of GBP15.0 billion. This is 3.3% below the 201,700 loans approved a month earlier, the BBA said.

Consumer credit was weaker in September than in August rising by GBP0.804 billion, compared withGBP1.140 billion.

Credit card borrowing rose by GBP0.3 billion in September compared with a GBP0.6 billion rise in August. Demand for personal loans and overdrafts rose GBP0.599 billion, in line with the previous six months, the BBA said.

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