U.K. Mortgage Approvals Little Changed as Interest Rates Rise

MacKlow-Smith Says Pound is Undervalued Long-Term

U.K. mortgage approvals were little changed in November and net lending was below its recent average, according to the Bank of England.

Approvals were at 65,139 compared with 64,887 in October, the BOE said on Thursday. The figure was higher than economists had forecast. Net mortgage lending amounted to 3.5 billion pounds, versus the 3.7 billion-pound six-month average.

The data cover the same month the central bank raised interest rates for the first time in a decade, creating further headwinds for a housing market that has been losing momentum since the Brexit vote in 2016.

The BOE said Thursday that the effective interest rate on secured and unsecured new loans increased that month. Rates on unsecured lending, such as personal loans, jumped to 7.83 percent, the highest in more than three years.

Net consumer-credit growth was 1.4 billion pounds in November, while the annual rate of growth slowed to 9.1 percent from 9.5 percent, the weakest since 2015. But there was a jump in credit- card borrowing, with the three-month annualized rate at the highest since April.

— With assistance by Mark Evans, and Harumi Ichikura

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