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UK mortgage approvals rise for 2nd month in February: BBA
[LONDON] Mortgages approved by British banks rose in February for a second month in a row, adding to signs that a slowdown in the British housing market may have bottomed out, the British Bankers' Association said on Wednesday.
Mortgage approvals for house purchase rose to a five-month high of 37,305 from 36,517 in January. Despite the increase, approvals were down 20 per cent from February a year ago.
The BBA also said unsecured borrowing - such as borrowing on credit cards - rose at its fastest annual growth rate in more than six years, up 4.4 per cent. Economists expect borrowing to pick up as the economic recovery broadens.
The number of mortgage approvals slowed through most of 2014 as regulators introduced tougher lending rules for banks and building societies.
Data from the Bank of England, which captures a broader range of lenders than the BBA figures, has also shown mortgage approvals picking up.