Lending slows in January, Bank of England reports

Net lending to individuals slowed at the beginning of 2009, new data has shown.

Figures from the Bank of England have revealed that the increase in net lending in January was lower than that seen in December, while the 12-month growth rate decreased by 0.1 per cent.

However, the report found that the 31,000 home loans borrowed in January were in line with December levels, but added that less remortgages – which can sometimes be used to help with debt management – were approved.

And although the £0.4 billion rise in consumer credit lending was higher than in the final month of 2008, this was still below the six-month average.

Commenting on the figures, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said that they highlight the “urgent need for more funds to be injected into the mortgage market”.

He explained that a “disconnect” between enquiries and the actual level of mortgages lent out demonstrates the “inability of many buyers to access the property market at the present time”.

By Jamie Price

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