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MORTGAGE APPROVALS AT 2 YEAR HIGH IN JANUARY

UK mortgage approvals hit a two-year high in January, Bank of England figures show, suggesting property sales could rise in the coming months.

In January the number of new mortgages approved for house buyers, but not yet lent, rose by 7% to 58,728.

That was the highest monthly figure since December 2009 and a 30% rise on January last year.

On Tuesday, the Land Registry reported that house prices in England and Wales rose by 1.1% in January.

The figures for mortgage approvals may have been boosted by some buyers trying to complete their purchases before the end of the current stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers, which expires on 24 March.
 

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