Mortgage lending stabilised last month as rising approvals for house purchases were offset by falling levels of remortgage activity, figures released yesterday indicated.

The British Bankers’ Association said that approvals of loans for house purchases had fallen in August to 38,095, compared with 38,196 in July, but that the figure represented an 81 per cent rise compared with the same month last year.

It reported that demand for remortgages had continued to fall as low standard variable rates encouraged existing homeowners to put off the search for a new deal. Only 26,124 remortgages were approved in August, compared with 30,414 in July and 49,687 in the same month in the previous year.

The Times