Mortgage lending hits ten-year low

Mortgage lending slumped to its lowest level for more than ten years in November, new figures have shown.

Data from the British Bankers' Association reveals that net lending, which does not include redemptions or repayments, was just £1.46 billion during the month.

This was half the level seen in November 2009, and the lowest figure since August 1999.

The subdued mortgage market also showed little sign of picking up in the near future, as the number of loans approved for house purchase dropped to a 20-month low of 29,991.

Unsecured borrowing continued to fall during the month, with people repaying around £200 million more than they borrowed.

Within the total, £5.91 billion was borrowed on credit cards, but this was more than offset by repayments of £6.28 billion, meaning overall plastic debt fell by £27 million once interest and charges were factored in.

However, saving levels increased in November to their highest level since March, when savings tend to be boosted by the looming end of the tax year.

Consumers set aside £4.6 billion in November, bringing their total to £626.4 billion. This is up by almost 6% compared with last year.

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