Gross mortgage borrowing totalled £7.8bn in April, according to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).
This was marginally below the recent monthly average.
The volumes of mortgage approvals for house purchase and remortgaging continued to edge up in April. Schemes to assist the mortgage lending market are expected to help more first-time buyers and mortgage chains in due course, the BBA said.
The average house purchase approval rose to £155,900.
Approvals in April for other loans were some 37% lower than in April 2012, reflecting lower levels of equity available and a reluctance amongst homeowners to take on extra borrowing.
Personal deposits rose by 5.5% over the year to April. Net mortgage borrowing from the banks fell by 0.1% over the year to April.
The outstanding level of unsecured borrowing contracted by 1.3% over the last year. Within that, annual growth in credit card borrowing of 5.8% is masked by a contraction of 6.7%.in personal loans and overdrafts.
BBA statistics director, David Dooks said: “New household borrowing totalled over £16 billion in April. This monthly level has been fairly constant recently and with various Government schemes, including the recent extension to Funding for Lending, banks are offering competitive rates and products.
“Low consumer confidence is depressing demand for new borrowing and consumers are continuing to save, with deposits rising by 5.5% over the year to April.”
Simon Crone, vice-president commercial – mortgage insurance Europe at Genworth, said: “The volumes of mortgage approvals for house purchase and remortgaging may have edged up slightly in April, but net mortgage borrowing is down year-on-year and the gross mortgage lending figure of £7.8bn is below the recent monthly average. Mortgage interest rates may have be falling, but this has caused repayments to increase, effectively meaning that what is given to first-time buyers with one hand is taken away with the other.
“This all adds to the overall picture of uncertainty for potential new homeowners who seem to be forced into taking two steps backwards for every one they take forwards. Until banks address the real problems facing first-time buyers – namely the ongoing dearth of products available at higher loan to values – then volumes will remain modest and thousands will remain in ownership limbo.”