Increase in UK mortgage agreements
Figures from the British Bankers Association show a rise in the number of approved UK mortgages for residential property purchase for the end of 2009.
December figures show more than 45,500 mortgages were approved for the purchase of UK property - double the amount from the previous December. Loans agreed for the whole of 2009 were down by nearly a third on 2008 and are the lowest for more than a decade.
The data shows that while larger UK banks had increased the amount of mortgages granted, building society finance and specialist lenders had reduced.
It is felt that many buyers had rushed to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline at the end of the year and that house completions were rushed through to avoid the duty. As a consequence, January and February may see less activity in this sector.
Another increase for the month was noted on the amount paid on overdrafts and personal loans - more was repaid by UK customers than they borrowed.