UK mortgage approvals have hit a 13-month high while the mortgage lending is at new record lows.

Net mortgage lending slowed to its smallest monthly gain on record in May even though the number of mortgages approved reached a 13-month high.  Economists predicted a gain of GBP1.0 billion in lending from April to May, but were far off track. The lending eased to GBP300 million in May from GBP900 million the previous month. The numbers reported are at the lowest level since comparable records began in April 1993.

As a result of the pitiful mortgage lending figures, net consumer lending and mortgage approvals increased. Consumer lending increased GBP600 million and mortgage approvals rose slightly, reaching the 13-month high of 43,414. The approval results are a good indicator of activity in the housing market, despite the poor lending statistics.

The record mortgage lending lows have the sterling's currency exchange rate at EUR1.1770 and USD1.6477.

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