July 24, 2019 / 8:34 AM / a month ago

UK mortgage approvals near two-year high in June: UK Finance

FILE PHOTO: Apartment buildings are backdropped by skyscrapers of banks at Canary Wharf in London, Britain October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The number of mortgages approved for British house purchases edged up to one of its highest levels in the past two years last month, though credit card lending grew at a slower pace, data from industry body UK Finance showed on Wednesday.

Consumer demand has generally been robust since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, but the housing market has slowed, especially in London and surrounding areas.

Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said on Tuesday that there were signs the slowdown in the housing market had bottomed out.

The number of mortgages approved for house purchase rose to 42,653 in June, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, up from 42,407 in May and close to April’s two-year high of 42,792.

Net credit card lending slowed to 119 million pounds ($148 million) in June from 247 million pounds in May, the lowest since a contraction of 54 million pounds in December 2018.

Reporting by David Milliken, editing by William Schomberg

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