Building societies ratchet lending up a notchMake Text Bigger
Building societies approved £1.7 billion in home loans last month – around 23% higher than the £1.4 billion approved a year ago.
Gross mortgage lending was £1.5 billion in February, compared to £1.2 billion in February 2010, according to the latest figures from the Building Societies Association (BSA).
BSA director-general Adrian Coles said: “Mortgage lending by mutuals continues to grow from the low levels seen last year. The good financial results released recently by many mutual lenders show that they are strongly placed to offer attractive products to homebuyers.
“The housing market remains at levels that are subdued relative to previous periods, as potential buyers continue to have concerns about the economic outlook.”
OECD puts UK inflation in perspective
Meanwhile, consumer prices across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were up 2.4% in the year to February 2011, compared with 2.2% in January – the highest rate since October 2008.
This increase was driven by rising food and energy costs which accelerated to 3.0% and 10.1% respectively in February, compared with 2.6% and 8.4% in January.
Excluding food and energy, the annual inflation rate was stable at 1.3% in February 2011.
Inflation accelerated in the year to February 2011 in the United States (2.1%, up from 1.6%), the UK (4.4%, up from 4.0% in January), Italy (2.4%, up from 2.1%), and Germany (2.1%, up from 2.0%).
Figures were slightly down in Canada (2.2%, down from 2.3%) and France (1.7%, down from 1.8%) but were stable in Japan with the rate at 0.0% for the third consecutive month. Euro area annual inflation (HICP) rose to 2.4%, up from 2.3% in January.
Consumer prices in the OECD area rose by 0.4% compared with January 2011. They rose by 0.8% in the United Kingdom, 0.5% in France, Germany, and the United States, and by 0.3% in Canada and Italy. They fell by 0.1% in Japan.
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