MORTGAGE approvals jumped by a fifth in 2013, compared to the year before, according to new Bank of England figures.
The statistics provide further ammunition for experts who say Britain is climbing out of the residential property market doldrums of 2012.
There were 734,969 property loans sanctioned in 2013, with the trend accelerating near the finish of the year. This was a jump of 20 per cent on the 612,654 of 2012, when several first-time purchasers found themselves frozen out of the mortgage market.
But lending is still way under the levels seen at the height of the housing boom. The Bank of England statistics find that overall lending to individuals has been driven to new peaks recently by the recovery of the housing market. It stood at a new high of £1.435 trillion by the end of last year. This comprised outstanding loans, including mortgages and consumer debt such as credit cards and overdrafts. Experts predict residential property demand to keep leaping this year.
These include Shaun Church, associate director at mortgage broker Private Finance who forecasts that recovery will continue as increasing consumer confidence coincides with an improving appetite to lend.