LONDON (Reuters) – UK lenders approved more than 100 in November000 new mortgages, most since the start of the financial crisis in 2007.This defies expectations of a slowdown in the housing market boom that set in after the first COVID lockdown

Following a collapse in home purchases at the start of the pandemic in April and May, demand for moving has increased, in part due to a temporary hike in property purchase taxes that will expire in late March

“The UK property market has had its busiest Christmas in over a decade,” said David Ross, managing director of real estate data company Hometrack

The home buying boom contrasts with a darker picture for many other parts of the economy struggling to recover, especially now that the UK is hit by a new variant of COVID that was first identified last month

The Bank of England data on Monday showed lenders as of November 104969 mortgages approved, the most since August 2007, and mostly projections in a Reuters poll of economists that dropped to 82500 had predicted

Last week, Nationwide mortgage lender figures showed UK house prices rose faster-than-expected in December to see their largest annual increase in six years, 73%

In addition to tax incentives, wider work from home has increased the demand for larger rural and suburban homes compared to city center apartments, say real estate agents

In contrast, unsecured consumer credit has declined at a record pace each year as many Britons withheld spending during a new lockdown in most parts of the UK in November that closed non-essential stores with other fears of unemployment in the UK Year 2021

Net consumer credit declined by £ 1.539 billion ($ 2.10 billion) in November – roughly in line with projections – and is 67% lower than November 2019, the largest decrease since monthly records began in the year 1994

Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak hopes that lower borrowing and higher savings from richer households will allow spending to increase to fuel growth once the economy can reopen in 2021, though some economists believe caution is offered

“We continue to believe that households will only spend a small fraction of the” forced savings “accumulated last year and that it will take total household spending by mid-2022 to reach its previous peak,” said Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Economics said

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World News – CA – Lenders in the UK approved most mortgages since 2007, other credit slides

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-britain-economy/update-1-uk-lenders-approved-most-mortgages-since-2007-in-nov-boe-idUSL8N2JF1LU