Mortgage approvals reach new high

The number of mortgage approvals granted to home buyers reached a five and-a-half-year high in September, the Bank of England has said.

The figures are further evidence that the housing market revival is continuing to gather pace following the launch of various Government schemes to improve mortgage access for aspiring buyers who have struggled to get a deal since the credit crunch struck.

Some 66,735 mortgages worth £10.1bn were approved for house purchase in September, marking the highest number seen since February 2008, the Bank’s figures showed.

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But experts pointed out that, despite the uplift, approvals are still only running at about two-thirds of the level seen before the financial downturn.

The Bank’s figures were recorded just before another phase of the Government’s flagship Help to Buy scheme was introduced.

The initiative, which has been endorsed by most of the mortgage market, offers state-backed home loans to both first-time buyers and home movers with deposits as low as 5 per cent.