The number of new loans for buying houses in the UK in April fell for the fourth consecutive month, reaching a seven-month low. This has become a sign of the cooling of the housing market in the country, as consumers cut costs.
The number of approved mortgage loans in April was 64,650 compared to 66,040 in March. This was reported on Wednesday by the Bank of England. Meanwhile, mortgage lending excluding payments fell to 2.7 billion pounds (3.5 billion US dollars), the lowest level for the year, compared to 3.1 billion pounds in March.
These data may signal a further weakening of the British economy, which has already slowed sharply in the first quarter, as rising inflation and weak wage growth prompt consumers to cut costs. In the 1st quarter, gross domestic product grew by 0.2% compared to the previous quarter.
This slowdown is observed at a time when voters are preparing for a general vote, appointed by Prime Minister Theresa May in the hope of increasing the majority of their party in parliament and strengthening their positions in the Brexit talks with the EU, which officially began in March.
Data released on Wednesday showed that unsecured consumer lending in March rose again. This suggests that households increase their debt to compensate for the decline in income.
Consumer lending excluding payments in April, including personal loans, overdrafts on bank accounts and credit cards, amounted to £ 1.5 billion. Such data was presented by the Bank of England. This is slightly below expectations of analysts. However, the annual growth in unsecured consumer lending remains above 10%.
Bank of England leaders have recently warned banks that they should closely monitor borrowers to avoid issuing loans that they will not be able to pay.