The British Bankers’ Association reported a second successive rise in mortgage approvals and noted that lending for house purchases by the big banks in January was reasonably perky.

The BBA figures show that approvals remain historically low, at 23,376 in January. This, however, was above the average for the previous six months (August to January). Despite rising unemployment, the evidence of increased buyer interest detected by estate agents appears to be more than just talk. The annual growth of net mortgage lending in January was 10% in cash terms.

Sunday Times